Renewed partnership helps protect our ‘Lockdown Lifelines’ says historic Bolton Youth Club
Stepping up our support for Bolton Lads & Girls Club, Bolton based business broker, Hilton Smythe is providing vital ‘Lockdown Lifelines’ for young people during and after the pandemic.
The charity, which was established in 1889 during the Industrial Revolution, is one of the largest youth clubs in the UK. It offers year-round support for young people aged eight to 19, with young people with disabilities able to stay on until they are 21. They organise sports, arts, mentoring and community outreach from locations at Spa Road, Hacken Lane, Westhoughton, and Barlow Park.
Hilton Smythe has a history of giving back to the local community. Since it opened for business in 2011, the firm has supported a number of good causes, but as life-long Bolton residents the company directors have a particular affinity with the Bolton Lads and Girls Club, becoming patrons of the club back in 2017. They wanted to sponsor a charity that made a difference to the young people in their area.
Craig Graham, Group Operations Director at Hilton Smythe commented: “Local people have been at the heart of the growth we have enjoyed over the last 10 years, so we are acutely aware of the need to help and support young people in Bolton.
“Lots of our team live close to town and have friends and family that know the club or have been members in the past. We are honoured to be able to help this historic club get through this difficult time.
“The current lockdown restrictions are challenging for most companies, but charities have been particularly hard hit. We have been inspired by the work our friends at the club have been doing during the pandemic and wanted to reaffirm our support with an enhanced sponsorship agreement for the next year.”
Stepping up our support for Bolton Lads & Girls Club, will see a total of £7,000 delivered to the club, as their original donation of £3,500 has been doubled under the £85m ‘Community Match Funding programme’ launched the government earlier this year to help small and medium sized charities hit hard by the lockdown. Under the programme, philanthropists and grant making organisations were able to put forward new funding for charitable organisations like the Lads and Girls Club, with the government matching their donation on a pound for pound basis.
The club has kept their young members active and engaged during the lockdown, hosting group and workshop sessions via social media and the internet, as well as being able to offer essential outreach services to their most vulnerable clients.
According to Kelly McFadden, Head of Fundraising & Communications at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, the Club has risen to the challenge of keeping their children and young people engaged throughout the pandemic.
“The relationships we have with our members has made a real difference during what has been a disruptive and difficult time for our young people that look to us for activity and support. We had to transform the way we do things, because lots of our traditional activity was delivered face to face at our clubs.
“Charities like ours will have a crucial role to play over the next year, replacing the opportunities for young people that have been lost in the pandemic and continuing to provide support for those feeling negative implications of the pandemic such as isolation, loneliness and bereavement. The support of our patrons makes a real difference to the quality of services that we can provide. As well as making their donation, the people at Hilton Smythe always make time to attend and support our events, which means a lot to us. Our partnership is developing and we’re grateful for Hilton Smythe’s ongoing support.”