Wigan Youth Zone to receive Believe Star and be added to Walk of Fame

Wigan’s iconic Youth Zone is to receive formal recognition from the council in the year it celebrates a significant milestone.

The Parson’s Walk facility is gearing up to mark its 10th anniversary on June 8, and will be presented with a star on the town’s Believe Square at a special ceremony later in 2023.

Wigan Youth Zone is an independent local charity and is reliant on the support of the community each year to maintain their critical services.

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Over the past decade the Youth Zone has improved the lives of tens of thousands of young people across the borough, generating more than £40m of social value for the community.

Wigan Youth ZoneWigan Youth Zone
Wigan Youth Zone

Leader of Wigan Council, David Molyneux, said: “I remember the proposals for the Youth Zone coming through the council in the years leading up to 2013 and the excitement for the opportunity we had before us.

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“The 10 years since its opening have certainly lived up to those expectations. The services provided by its dedicated staff are vital and we are proud of what has been achieved through our partnership working.

“We are lucky to have such an amazing site in our town and it has acted as a blueprint and inspiration for other Youth Zones across the country and also our own new Youth Hub in Leigh. We look forward to the next decade.”

Wigan Youth Zone when it celebrated its eighth birthdayWigan Youth Zone when it celebrated its eighth birthday
Wigan Youth Zone when it celebrated its eighth birthday
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Recent recipients of Believe Stars include charities Joining Jack and Joseph’s Goal. Athletes Ella Toone and Keely Hodgkinson were also recently announced and will have their stars at Leigh Town Hall.

Chair of Wigan Youth Zone, Gary Speakman, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Wigan Council have decided to recognise the work of our charity by awarding us a prestigious Believe Star, which is a fitting recognition for all of those involved over the 10-year journey to date.

“When our founders, Bill Ainscough, Martin Ainscough and Dave Whelan envisaged Wigan Youth Zone, along with our partners at OnSide and Wigan Council, it is hard to imagine that in their wildest dreams we would have accomplished the breadth and depth of services we offer to young people in Wigan and Leigh, or the impact this has made.”

CEO of Wigan Youth Zone, Anthony Ashworth-Steen, added: “Wigan Youth Zone is much more than an impressive building, it is a charity whose roots spread across the entire borough through the relationships we build with thousands of young people.

“We should, rightly, use our 10-year milestone to reflect back and celebrate success, but it should also be a time to look forward to how we can best serve the young people over the next 10 years and beyond.”