Vulnerable young people in Wigan given a boost thanks to new National Lottery grant awarded to Wigan Athletic Community Trust

WAFC Community Trust at the Youth Zone in Wigan.
Photo by Fabio De Paola

Fresh from being named the EFL North West Community Club of the Year 2020, Wigan Athletic Community Trust has received more positive news this week thanks to a new grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.

The Community Trust has been awarded £392,457 to extend the Pathway 2 Participation programme for an additional three years, and provide mentoring support to some of the most vulnerable young people in Wigan.

The programme, which will be delivered in partnership with Wigan Youth Zone, will build on the work of the Pathway 2 Participation programme over the last four years where it has helped 100s of young people to improve their health, mental well-being and confidence through mentoring and sports activities.

Tom Flower, Head of Community at Wigan Athletic, said: “We are extremely delighted and grateful to receive the funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.

“The investment will enable us to help hundreds of young people in the borough; enhancing their life chances and giving them the opportunity to achieve their full potential, whether that is through sport or education activities.”

Pathway 2 Participation has been operating in Wigan since 2015 and with the support of Wigan Council’s Deal for Communities Investment Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities scheme has helped 100’s of young people to take part in activities in their local communities, re-enter education and even find employment.

With the support of The National Lottery Community Fund and Wigan Council, the programme has seen participants enjoy a number of activities including mountain biking, team building exercises and water sports sessions.

Project evaluation carried out in 2019 showed that 82% of young people who completed the programme said they felt happier about their life while 97% of participants said involvement had helped to increase their confidence and self – esteem.

Wigan Athletic Community Trust at a Kayaking sessions at Scotsman’s Flash in Wigan.

Duncan Nicholson, Head of Funding for North West region at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we are able to support young people through Pathway 2 Participation.

“The project is a great way to get young people the mentoring support they need to help boost their confidence and improve their mental well-being.”

MP for Wigan Lisa Nandy said: “I’m delighted that Wigan Athletic Community Trust have received this substantial and well-deserved grant from the National Lottery.

“Their track record speaks for itself, and this money will be vital in helping them continue their brilliant work with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised children and young people across Wigan.”

The National Lottery Community Fund is responsible for giving out money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds (508.5 million) and supported over 11,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

For more information on the programme please email Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Senior Community Development Co-ordinator Steve Eastwood on s.eastwood@wiganathletic.com or call 01942 318090.