Holiday club becomes charity and plans community hub
A group of volunteers ensuring the time when school is out is much more fun has ambitious expansion plans after becoming a charity.
Mesnes NRG has been running programmes of activities in Worsley Mesnes during the holidays for primary and secondary school pupils since last summer.
Led by Martina Dalton from St James’ Primary School and Joseph Lavin from the Worsley Mesnes Community Group, the volunteers have offered hundreds of youngsters and their families exciting activities including days at Scotman’s Flash and trips around the region as well as providing free lunches.
Months of work behind the scenes has now resulted in the group getting a charity number and the leadership team hopes to offer events during every school break.
The group also has its eye on a currently-unused community building on Worsley Mesnes Precinct which it hopes will become its base.
Ms Dalton said: “We were told it wasn’t possible to become a charity but we thought it was worth a try.
“We can now really go out looking for funding and that will make a huge difference because this is an area of high deprivation.
“I can’t now go to the shops without someone stopping me and asking when the next event is on or what trips we are running.
“The base is our next focus. It’s now available and we want to run it as a community centre again.
“There isn’t one in our area and it’s hard finding somewhere for us to organise indoor activities. We’ve also spoken to different groups who want to access the building and we’re happy to share it with the community.”
The group started after Ms Dalton gave pupils at her school questionnaires and they responded a lack of holiday activities in Worsley Mesnes needed addressing.
Youngsters at the Tyrer Avenue school also gave the group its name, with NRG a version of the word ‘energy’.
The group is being supported by Wigan Council’s director of children’s services James Winterbottom.
A town hall spokesperson said: “It’s great to hear Mesnes NRG has been granted charity status. They provide an invaluable service, especially during the school holidays. We will continue to work with them to find a suitable base.”