Brains and brawn boost for tots in deprived borough areas

Pre-school-aged children living in deprived parts of the borough will be able to take part in physical activity sessions designed to give them a helping hand in getting ready for primary school thanks to a £40,000 grant from BBC Children in Need and Wigan Council.

Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:56 pm
Children celebrate the funds

The Kids on the Move scheme will see youngsters aged three and four years old work with coaches from Wigan Athletic Community Trust to improve their physical development, make new friends and develop their confidence and self-esteem at five different locations across the borough.

And the aim is not just to make the youngsters’ bodies more active - but their brains too. A pilot-scheme took place last year through funding from the local authority’s Deal for Communities Investment Fund, which saw children from the Westfield Start Well Family Centre in Pemberton attend sessions with their parents at Montrose Skills Hub in order to make them more school-ready.

Wes Partington, community development manager at the trust, said: “The feedback received from the pilot scheme was overwhelmingly positive so we’re grateful to both BBC Children in Need and Wigan Council for their support of the project for the next three years.

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He added: “Delivering the scheme at five different locations across the borough will enable us to work with even more children and their parents, helping them to develop the physical literacy skills needed to succeed when they move to primary school.”

BBC Children in Need has awarded a total of £45,936 in new funding to three local groups working with young people in Wigan, bringing the total invested across the borough to more than £441,000.

Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “We’re delighted to be able to award the grant to Wigan Athletic Community Trust and my thanks goes to the generosity of the British public. The funding will help to support children and young people in Wigan, giving them the chance to overcome the challenges in their lives and to reach their full potential.”

To date the UK public has raised over £950m for young people facing disadvantage across the UK, with BBC Children in Need relying on the generosity and creativity of the thousands of supporters and fundraisers who raise millions of pounds for the charity every year.

Email [email protected] or call 01942 318090 for more information about the Kids on the Move project.