Wigan youngsters have been given positive vibes through lockdown

A Wigan borough community club called Positive Vibes Youth has been a shining light through lockdown by providing support to BAME youngsters through a series of online programmes.

Luke and Levi Murefu
Luke and Levi Murefu

The closure of most community youth centres during the pandemic has meant that most young people have been left idle, leading to a rise in stress and anxiety.

Project manager Jeremiah Murefu said: “The club has provided much needed support to young people by designing online programs to help stimulate their physical health and also boost their mental health.”

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The youth club, which covers Wigan Leigh, Bolton and Westhoughton, aims to promote good citizenship and empower young people.

Mac Chimbizi

The well-attended online sessions feature different speakers teaching participants on how to cope with stress, mental health awareness, career guidance spotlights and fitness programmes.

The programmes have been popular as they are often accompanied by different games such as quizzes, scavenger hunts and charades. Organisers say this has helped to curb isolation and reduce loneliness.

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“We’re also immensely pleased to have run a successful fitness campaign by purchasing equipment for home exercises such as hula hoops, skipping ropes, fit bits, sport water bottles and arranging socially distanced walks to encourage a healthier lifestyle for BAME young people who have also been considered to be in a high covid risk category, ” added Mac Chimbizi, the Project Coordinator.

The campaign was well received by young members and members of their families who participated by sending pictures and short videos of their progress. The campaign invoked community spirit in a fun and healthy way.

Bethel, Amisha and Destiny

The local community support group is grateful after being awarded a £9,985 community project grant to use over a 12-month period through the National Lottery funding to support its work in promoting social cohesion by developing youth-related programmes within the community.

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Jeremiah added: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.

“This will go a long way in supporting our community activities and continue making a difference in young people’s lives.”

The funding received from The National Lottery Community Fund for good causes has benefited the likes of community clubs such as Positive Vibes Youth Club to continue to provide support to the young people at a critical time when most youth centres are closed.

Anopa and Tinashe Takwana
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Last month the community club also managed to purchase tablets worth £1,400 which were distributed to disadvantaged young people in the community so they can access their educational material, online sessions and keep in touch with their peers on social media.

Positive Vibes Youth Club is run by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers with different expertise and backgrounds that include social work, health, education, law and support workers.

Community members are welcome to get in touch with the club via the website https://positive-vibes.org.uk/contact for support, social services signposting and help especially when isolating.

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Positive Vibes youth members