AN award-winning TV writer has gone back to her roots to thank those who made her journey possible.

Bolton-born BAFTA luminary Sophie Willan, the wordsmith behind the hit series Alma’s Not Normal, has agreed to become a patron of the Backup North West charity.

Her experiences growing up in Bolton, including vital support from Backup, inspired the BBC2 programme.

The Bolton News: Sophie Willan has not forgotten her rootsSophie Willan has not forgotten her roots

The Bolton-based charity provides a lifeline for young homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless.

Sophie described the organisation as one of the borough’s most important.

She said: “Back-up North West provides outstanding support­— both practical and emotional – to young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness or from a care background and I feel honoured and inspired to be their patron.

“Not only have I had the pleasure of partnering with Backup on several outreach projects over the years, I have also been a beneficiary of their organisation when I was a teenager, so I know first-hand how important and life-changing their support is to young people.

“I’m excited to continue to support the organisation, work with their young people and fly the flag for one of Bolton’s most important charities.”

For three decades now the charity has been providing temporary accommodation, support, education and hope to young adults, often still teenagers, who find themselves homeless.

They have helped thousands of young people aged 16 to 25, including the talented writer and performer, who won a BAFTA for her series pilot show.

The Bolton News: SOUL SISTERS: Maura Jackson and Sophie Willan pose in charity calendarSOUL SISTERS: Maura Jackson and Sophie Willan pose in charity calendar

Backup, previously known as the Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme and a past Bolton Business Awards winner, supported Sophie when she needed temporary accommodation as a teenager in Bolton.

In recent years the charity has been able to work in partnership with her on projects where she has supported other young homeless and those leaving care, in particular. phie has now agreed to be a Patron for the charity.

The Bolton News: THRILLED: Maura JacksonTHRILLED: Maura Jackson

Maura Jackson, Backup’s chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to have Sophie’s support.

“She is a diamond and a great example of what can happen when you are determined, tenacious, work hard, have a vision and are willing to assist others along your way; regardless of the barriers or challenges you face personally.

“She deserves every award and recognition for her work, she is amazing.

“To stand up and put your name behind Backup is – in Alma’s words – simply fab-u-lous.”

You can find out more about the charity online at