Local youth club, Bolton Lads & Girls Club (BLGC) welcomed over 250 Patrons, Supporters and Partners to celebrate the Clubs successes in the last year with their annual Patrons & Supporters Evening on Wednesday 12th July.
The night was an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary impact of Bolton Lads & Girls Club and remind guests how important their funding was by showcasing the accomplishments in the past year.
The Club was transformed in to a carnival themed atmosphere as guests were welcomed by the Clubs very own version of ‘Little Ant & Dec’ and opening act of the night, Kai Flynn, a former mentee of the Clubs Award-winning Mentoring Project.
Kai went on to explain about the importance of the Mentoring Project and how it had a huge effect in his life before he wowed the audience with a rendition of his latest track.
Chief Executive, Karen Edwards, OBE was next on stage as she welcomed everyone to what was to be a very memorable night. In her speech Mrs Edwards spoke about how every person who had made a contribution to the Club also made a positive impact on a young person’s life.
Guests also heard from a number of young people who bravely took to the stage to share their experiences. One of the stand out highlights of the evening was that of Corey Lester and Darren Knight, mentee and mentor who have been part of the Mentoring Project over the last 12 months. Corey explained how having his Mentor Darren has given him “someone to talk to and spend time with.”
15-year-old Aima Sheihk was another who spoke positively about her journey with the Club. Aima explained how she developed all sorts of different skills working in partnership with the Octagon Theatre.
Aima went on to introduce the video herself and her fellow BLGC Members had put together to reflect the importance the Club has on so many young people’s lives.
Amongst the guests in attendance, Ann Rimmer of UPP B2B Marketing and proud Patron of BLGC, said:
“I have been involved with the Club for a while now and it’s on evenings like this we get to really see the impact it has on the lives of young people.”
“I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with the club and I commend them in all that they do!”
During the evening, guests were also treated to some spectacular performances by the Clubs very own members. Award winning Dance group ‘The Steppers’ and BLGC band ‘The Others’, who only formed recently as part of the Big Music project, had the audience in awe as they showcased their talents.
Other speakers on the night included inspirational stories from current Mentors, Mentees and parents of Young People who have found the Clubs services to be invaluable.
Head of Fundraising, Bolton Lads & Girls Club, Shona Walsh said:
“It’s been a fabulous evening. To see so many Patrons and Supporters come out and show their support has been really encouraging.
“The young people showed real bravery by sharing their stories with all our guests and we hope we can continue with our success in the year ahead.”
It is hoped the Club can build on its success and continue to provide a place for every young person in Bolton.
Karen Edwards OBE, CEO Bolton Lads & Girls Club, added:
“It’s been a fabulous evening, the Club is a special place and people do amazing things on our behalf, from marathons to rowing oceans to cycling the Dolomites and everything in-between and we are extremely grateful for their connection.
“In 2016/17 we had 120,00 visits by young people through our doors. We raised and invested £2.9 million in Bolton’s Youngsters which allowed us to support 243 Looked After Children and Mentor 175 Young People. But we are only scratching the surface. Events like this help us spread the message that we want to reach more young people, with over 40,000 in the town there are still lots that may need us and we’ll make it our mission to find them.”