Oar-some youngsters in canal tidy-up

Youngsters from the Dean Trust clean up a stretch of Leeds-Liverpool Canal as part of Wigan Athletic's Community Trust scheme
Youngsters from the Dean Trust clean up a stretch of Leeds-Liverpool Canal as part of Wigan Athletic's Community Trust scheme

Borough youngsters have been giving back to their local community by helping to clean up a stretch of canal.

Students from The Dean Trust cleaned up the section of the Leeds to Liverpool canal near Wigan Pier as part of a youth engagement project operated by the Canal and River Trust.

The youngsters donned life jackets, cramped themselves into canoes and took to the water to sweep for litter and debris.

The scheme was part of Wigan Athletic’s Community Trust’s Pathway 2 Participation, a mentoring programme for 12 to 19-year-olds to enable them to take part in activities designed to improve their health and well-being whilst also raising their aspirations and ambitions.

The trust is a charity and often relies on voluntary help with clean-ups.

Locals have complained in the past about certain sections of the canal passing through Wigan borough being particularly badly clogged up woth rubbish, especially empty drinks bottles.

Project co-ordinator Dave Coppin said: “It’s important for young people in today’s society to give back to their local communities, and we are no different in Wigan by wanting to help on projects such as the canal clean up.

He added: “Pathway 2 Participation has helped to change the lives of so many young people in Wigan by offering a number of exciting opportunities and a positive mentoring scheme.”

The project was named Community Initiative of the Year at the North West Football Awards last November, and was also highlighted as an example of good practice when the Community Trust as named North West Checkatrade Community Club of the Year in March.