Underprivileged Wigan youngsters to be given festive treats - as they brighten up Christmas for older people
Underprivileged children can look forward to some festive fun thanks to a special programme that will feed and entertain them in the run-up to Christmas.
Alan Gregory of Pianos, Pies and Pirouettes CIC has again teamed up with Wigan and Leigh Community Charity after securing more funding from the Government's Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) scheme for work in Bickershaw.
Dozens of youngsters, whose families are struggling to make ends meet, will be fed, encouraged to take part in arts and crafts making decorations for a Christmas party for older people and then be taken to the panto.
The formula has already worked well both at Easter and during the summer break, and Alan was delighted that further cash had been secured to continue the momentum.
The activities are based around Bickershaw Village Community Club and on December 19 and 20, children will be making Christmas trees, marshmallow snowmen and all manner of other decorations to be used when the Bicky Buddies – a group which brings together older people who are at risk of isolation and loneliness – enjoy their turkey dinner that week.
The youngsters themselves will then be taken to a special, morning performance of the pantomime Aladdin at the Old Courts on December 21.
This is just one of several projects that Alan has up his sleeve.
A dance school for four to nine-year-olds at the village club has now been established.
And he is also trying to get something off the ground called Wigan Minis aimed at giving Key Stage 2 youngsters a chance to discover new skills and perhaps sow the seeds of an entrepreneurial career.
The plan in the new year is get pupils from Platt Bridge Community Primary School involved in putting on a show which Alan has written which is a fantasy tale about a little boy’s fears for the environment tied up with the coronation of King Charles III.
Alan said: “We want to find the strengths of all the young people involved and we were planning on having a Dragon’s Den/Apprentice-like panel of local business experts who could judge whether youngsters are best at acting, choreography, set design, PR and advertising and so on before they are divided into their specialist areas.