A Long-established charity which has helped thousands of young people over the past 20 years is opening a new centre to help families cope with today’s problems.

Harmony Youth Project, based in Halliwell, has focussed primarily on helping disadvantaged under-21s, guiding them to their potential using the creative arts.

Now, organisers are opening a new, additional centre – The Picture House Project – on the ground floor of the distinctive Picture House building in Bradshawgate.

As Charlie Barratt, who founded Harmony, explained: “We have had so many young people come through Harmony with heartbreaking life stories, our action plans have secured them in self-esteem, confidence, further education and employment.”

However, he added: “Since the lifting of Covid restrictions and rising inflation, we’ve seen the need to provide packed lunches for the children.

“We have had to go beyond our constitution in providing basic needs and food parcels for struggling families, leaving us to expand our services to reach more people in need.”

Harmony has now teamed up with Irwell Valley Housing Association to expand the charity’s work. “We will be focusing more on assisting families, counselling, tackling homelessness and many more of the issues facing our community,” stated Charlie.

“This new centre will run alongside Harmony from September, allowing us to keep our youth work and The Picture House Project separate.”

He added: “We’ve noticed a substantial increase in lack of services for people of all ages with mental health issues and referrals also reported by the Government. Our mission is to help these people and be a community asset in serving Bolton and Greater Manchester.”

Early donations towards the project are coming from the sale of Charlie’s book “Charlie Charles: Life’s lessons learnt” which is a collection of poetry based on his life and experiences.

Concluded Charlie: “If anyone would like to get involved in volunteering, services, contributions or support – or if they would like assistance in any way – get in touch.”

The Picture House' development in Bolton town centre is on the site of the former Lido cinema at the junction of Bradshawgate and Great Moor Street

For more information go to www.harmonyyouthproject.co.uk