Bolton Lads & Girls Club (BLGC) has been the fabric of the Bolton Community for over 125 years. As a youth organisation, the club has continued to design bespoke provisions to help children who perhaps struggle to feel part of a wider community, or have been disadvantaged by an adverse family situation or a lack of opportunities.

We find out the impact BLGC has had on one particular family who has seen the benefits of attending the Club. We have changed the names for safeguarding purposes.

“Both my wife & I are Foster Careers and we currently have 3 children in long term care, 2 of which attend regularly the youth club at Westhoughton.

Child ‘A’ came into our care in December 2016. In Early 2017 Child ‘A’ and their sibling where placed in long term care with ourselves, so it was vitally important for Child ‘A’s development that they made friends and settled into the area and a routine as quickly as possible, the youth club in Westhoughton was ideal and fantastic, Child ‘A’ settled in quickly, made friends, started playing football for a BLGC Saturday team and in July, moved to Westhoughton High School.

Child ‘B’ was placed in care 3 years ago and has learning difficulties,  they struggles with mainstream groups, it takes a little longer for them to learn new skills, and along with the poor concentration levels can sometimes be a target for abuse or neglect from their peers. Since going regularly to the youth club we are starting to see a maturity in Child ‘B’, it appears the staff at the youth club have recognised and work differently with Child ‘B’ to help her have an enjoyable experience – quite different to the current experience with school.

Beth and her team at Westhoughton have done a tremendous job, they have quickly understood the different needs Child ‘A’ & Child ‘B’  have and have placed in measures to support both children on their current short journey with the Youth Club.

I am almost certain without the youth club Child ‘A’ would not have settled as quickly as he has, made friends and is now living a life a 12-year-old should.

Child ‘B’ – well all I can say is that if Child ‘B’ does not like doing an activity or a project, they will let you know. However, when Child ‘B’ knows they are going to the club, the joy and excitement on their face and in their eyes speaks volumes to the work all staff and volunteers have done at the club.

Thank you, Beth, for your support with both Child ‘A’ & Child ‘B’ and I hope the Westhoughton Club continues to grow and continues to support more children in the area.”