Wigan Youth Zone in display of commitment to armed forces

Preparations are afoot for the return of Wigan Youth Zone's Armed Forces Day.

Friday, 20th April 2018, 3:43 pm
Updated Friday, 20th April 2018, 3:51 pm
Wigan Youth Zone's armed forces day

This weekend will see the return of the WYZ’s armed forces day, which includes stalls, rides, and entertainment for the whole family. The fun day will run from 11am-3pm on Saturday April 21.

Ahead of the event, the centre on Parson’s Walk spoke of its commitment to supporting young relatives from armed forces members.

The WYZ has been offering the free membership for the past 12 months, and ahead of its annual armed forces day, spoke to the Post about the success of the schemes far.

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The Armed Forces project is funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds and is part of the Armed Forces Covenant, the objective being to engage more armed forces and veteran’s families in their local community via the Youth Zone.

As part of the project, they are also offering free Wigan Youth Zone membership for young people aged 8-19 related to armed forces personnel or veterans.

The scheme has been funded by the government’s LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate) scheme which provided millions of pounds in funding to charities across the UK.

Sue Shearer, organiser and head of the WYZ’s LIBOR funding, spoke to the Post about how the project was helping young people whose lives may have been disrupted by their relatives being in the military.

“Sometimes, as a young person whose family is in the aemy, you move around quiet a lot. You could make friends for two years then move on, and have to start again.

“When their parents leave, they settle down in Wigan, and then they need support for continuity. It helps them settle back into civilian life.

“We have a monitoring system. We speak to them about how they feel, but in a discreet way. After three months we will speak to them again to see if they feel better, having been here. It’s mostly been positive so far.”

The project has successfully recruited over 150 young people into the youth zone, and has been supporting their families in the process with various events.