Bolton youth club appeals for help before 20th anniversary

A youth project in Bolton is facing closure after council funding was pulled earlier this year.

Harmony Youth Project, in the Halliwell area of the town, was established in 2001 and is renowned for giving the youth in the area a safe place to be creative.

It has also been praised by the police for keeping them out of trouble. 

The centre is due to celebrate its 20th anniversary in May but founder Charlie Barrett fears the centre will not make it to the celebration.

Charlie Barrett, founder of Harmony Youth Project Credit: ITV News Granada

We are really, really struggling and this being our 20th anniversary in May, the thought of us not making it isn’t worth thinking about

Charlie Barrett- Founder, Harmony Youth Project

The pandemic has hit them particularly hard after losing work with schools, a major source of income for them.

They have received Bolton Council funding for the past 15 years but after a recent change of the way the beneficiaries are decided, Harmony were not awarded the funding this year.

The council no longer awards grants directly, instead funding is allocated via Bolton’s Fund where decisions are made by an independent panel. This is a transparent and fair process.

Bolton Council

"Our partners at Bolton CVS remain available to offer local charities support to develop and find alternative sources of funding.”

The youth project is now appealing for donations from the public to help keep the centre afloat.

Charlie pleads: “I’m trying to reach out to all the people who used to come to Harmony, and a lot of them have children of their own who come to Harmony now and its gone full circle.

"I’m asking them to reach out and help out in our time of need.”

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