Teenagers rise to challenge

The steering group at The Meadows Youth Centre, in Worsley Hall, with Wigan's Youth Parliament member Jilly McKiernan
The steering group at The Meadows Youth Centre, in Worsley Hall, with Wigan's Youth Parliament member Jilly McKiernan

BIG-hearted children and young people are pulling out all the stops to help two people who are coming to terms with cancer.

Members of The Meadows Youth Centre in Worsley Hall have risen to the fund-raising challenge after discovering that Derek Myers, the grandfather of group member Shannon, and local resident Sean Fleming had both been diagnosed with the disease.

The centre’s steering group, aged between eight and 25, are now helping Mr Myers fulfil his lifelong wish of taking a ride on a steam train and raising money for The Christie Hospital in Manchester, where Sean has received much of his treatment.

The group held an Easter-themed extravaganza at The Meadows complete with stalls, music and entertainment from a DJ, a treasure hunt and seasonal games.

The group is being supported by Wigan Council’s voice and engagement youth service, and also received a special visit to their Easter event in the form of Wigan Youth Parliament member Jilly McKiernan.

Council youth worker Scott Williams said: “When the group heard about Sean and Mr Myers they felt they had to do something to help.

“They have been working hard to plan this fund-raising event and have put a lot of time and effort into making it a success. All the ideas have come from the young people and they have really led the way in making this event a huge success.

“We are all really proud of what they have achieved.”

Mr Myers’s grand-daughter Shannon, 16, said: “My grandad has always wanted to ride on a steam train,

“When we heard he was ill we decided to help to make it happen for him.

“Everyone at The Meadows has been really fantastic.

“They’ve all given up their own time to do this and it looks like we actually might make it happen.”

The young fund-raisers’ efforts at the Easter event raised more than £200, making it likely they will be able to make Mr Myers’s dream come true.

Youth Parliament representative Miss McKiernan also gave her backing to the fund-raising drive.

She said: “These children and young people really are an inspiration.

“They have put this event together in just four days and it’s great.

“Often young people are seen in a negative light but the actions of the The Meadows group show that young people are caring, responsible and always ready to help out.”