Wigan Youth Zone celebrating eighth birthday
There have been half a million visits to the Parson's Walk facility since it opened in 2013.
A number of celebratory events have been planned to celebrate the birthday this week and the centre is also marking the occasion by offering free memberships and renewals.
Since its grand opening in 2013 more than half a million visits have been made to the Parson’s Walk facility, with more than 26,000 young people from Wigan and Leigh coming through the doors.
Wigan Youth Zone’s head of youth work Sikander Ali said: “We are incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve over the last eight years with the help of supporters, staff and volunteers for our young members, especially during the unfortunate Covid-19 pandemic which saw a nationwide lockdown.
“The impact we’ve been able to have wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing staff team and their endless hard work and dedication.”
The £6.3m purpose-built facility is part of the OnSide network of national youth zones and boasts an indoor climbing wall, a sports hall, a fully-equipped gym, an arts and crafts room, a music room with a recording studio, a training kitchen, four pitches, a skate park and a dance and drama studio.
It also has a dedicated team of youth workers supporting Wiganers and Leythers aged between eight and 19, or who are up to 25 years old if they have additional needs.
As the facility celebrates its birthday young residents have spoken about the difference it has made.
Wigan Youth Zone member Liv Disley said: “Wigan Youth Zone has been a part of my life for seven years (eight this year) and I honestly can say it’s changed my life and made me the person I am today.”
As a charity, Wigan Youth Zone relies heavily on support from the private sector to raise money for its £1.6million per year running costs.
It receives support from Wigan Council and has secured more than 80 patrons, made up of local businesses, trusts and foundations.
The youth zone also works closely with the police and Wigan Athletic Community Trust.
Before Covid struck, young people made over 1,000 visits per week with separate sessions for 8-to-11 and 12-to-19- year-olds.
But with lockdown forcing its doors to be closed, the Youth Zone quickly adapted its offer to provide digital support and activities.
The Youth Zone also distributed over 2,300 meals and care packs to support the local community, including young people in care, vulnerable families and valued young people and families.
The Youth Zone has now reopened its doors but sessions have to be booked online to ensure that numbers are restricted and in line with social distancing guidelines.
To find out more , sign up as a member, book a session or to donate, visit www.wiganyouthzone.org
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