Visit from A Rising Star

As our Queens Award-winning Mentoring Project celebrates its’ 20th year of dedicated empowerment and guidance for the young people of Bolton, The Mentoring team were thrilled last week to have a visit from ex-mentee and aspiring DJ, Kai Flynn.

Kai first came to BLGC as a Junior member back in 2010, and three years later, was referred to the Mentoring Project.

BLGC, Kai’s mentor Michelle and Mentoring Co-ordinator Jackie, played a pivotal role in Kai’s early teens, which proved to be an incredibly difficult and challenging time for him, due to his removal from his adoptive family, and placement into his long-term foster family.

Speaking about Mentoring, Kai said: “Mentoring helped shape who I am today. The effect of having a mentor, is life changing. Michelle was there for me through thick and thin. She and Jackie are truly dedicated. They were someone to talk to when I needed it most.”

Although no longer in the Bolton borough, Kai still visits BLGC as often as possible and last week told us the fantastic news that as an aspiring DJ, two of his tracks have recently had label releases!

Kai is a keen DJ and producer, studying music production at college and devoting all his spare time to learning about his art and creating remixes to music that he feels and finds a connection to, and see the potential in.

Although with two releases already under his belt, Kai’s dream to make it to the musical big time, is not without its’ setbacks, as his home studio recently fell victim to an electrical fire. However, Kai is determined to stop at nothing and let nothing hold him back from achieving his goals.

To find out more about DJ Kai, visit https://soundcloud.com/djkaiflynn

 

The gloves are off!

It’s was a case of Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee for BLGC’s very own Senior Club members Cindy Ngamba (Left of picture) and Ismail Khan (Right of picture) who attended their first ever AIBA bouts on April 21st.

It was a night to remember for Cindy, who is already been spoken of around the boxing fraternity of being the next big thing in women’s boxing, as she won her bout in the 2nd round by technical knockout.

It was case of Deja vu as Ismail also impressed in his bout in a hugely entertaining fight by pushing his challenger all the way.

Both fighters are now aiming to make it to the big leagues and will be buoyed by their achievements and we wish them both luck on their journey.

If you fancy yourself as the next Nicola Adams, Bolton Lads & Girls Club will be hosting boxing classes for all Senior Club members every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 7.30pm and we welcome all abilities.

BLGC’s rising stars

Bolton Lads & Girls Club are very proud to announce that two of our very own super talented stars have recently signed with Manchester United Football Club and Liverpool Football Club respectively.

Callum Robinson (pictured on the right) is currently a BLGC’s U9’s blues team player, was invited along with his very proud parents to Manchester United’s headquarters and was thrilled to sign his brand-new contract for the U9’s team.

Lenix Conde (Pictured on the left) also a current member of BLGC’s football team was thrilled to find see his hero Steven Gerrard waiting for him at Liverpool Football Club to sign his new contract with the club.

A special mention to both their coaches Ashley Jones and Alex Howarth who initially saw their potential and inspired them to be the very best they can be.

We wish both Callum and Lenix all the best and congratulate them again on their achievements. We have no doubt that they are both future house hold names given their extreme talent.

 

Us Girls Rock

10 Senior Club girls took part in the Us Girls Rock day! A jam packed day of fitness and fun, including a demonstration and Rolla Fitness session from Jenna Downing; X-Games Silver Medalist and 10 x British Champion!

Us Girls Rocks Festival, aimed at young women aged 14 to 25, took place in the 2016 European City of Sport, Stoke-on-Trent, on Saturday 11th March, 2017 and the event was full of free sports and physical activity.

Identity project!

Congratulations to members at Barlow Park who have completed their identity project!

They have been discussing issues surrounding hate crime and labels, as well as celebrating the diversity in their community and recognising that our differences are there to be embraced and celebrated too!

Big Music Live

11 Senior Club members had a fantastic time at The Union, Manchester Metropolitan University, as part of UK Youth & Global Radio‘s The Big Music Project!

Alongside peers from youth centres all over the North of England they took part in a range of workshops, from hip-hop dance, to creating your own brand image, to rap lyric writing, as well as a good old fashioned jamming session.

If you’re interested in developing your musical or dance skills, or you’ve never quite known where to start, come along to Senior Club at BLGC and get involved!

Senior members visit Octagon Theatre

10 of our Seniors members were lucky enough to be invited to visit the Octagon Theatre Bolton, for an evening of fun and food!

After brief introductions, members were led into the theatre which had been transformed into a cruise ship’s dining hall for the night, where a feast awaited them!
And of course a cruise dining experience would not have been complete without entertainment, in the form of piano accompanied solos, from much loved musicals ‘Grease’ and ‘Aladdin’.

To end the night, wishes, hopes and dreams for the future were placed into bottles to be floated upon the candle lit tank; the room’s centre piece.

Each member left with a scroll containing a poem and an invite to a tour of the Theatre, which we will most definitely be taking them up on!

 

Find out what it takes to become a Mentor

We are looking for male volunteers to mentor boys who are struggling with many issues in their personal life. Challenge yourself, support a young person, be a mentor.

Hear from our male mentors about what it is like mentoring young people in Bolton.

 

Role description for mentor

Volunteer application form

If you would like someone from Bolton Lads & Girls Club to come and give a talk to your colleagues, please call is on 01204 540 139 or alternatively, email us at volunteering@blgc.co.uk

Youngsters learn the importance of identity

It’s been a busy month at Barlow Park as members have been breaking down barriers by getting to know their own identity and others around them.

Using various activities, members looked at issues surrounding hate crime and how that links to their own identity. Each evening, members took part in a wide range of activities to raise awareness of the prejudice that can lead to hate crime.

One of the activities the members took part in involved having a picture of their face taken and then having that picture cut in various ways to include other faces of members to show that they are all one person as a member of BLGC. The members also looked at their own identity as an individual and their identity as a BLGC member and how that has an effect on their outlook. The activities allowed the members to not only find out more about their identity but also that of others.

Bolton Lads & Girls Club have been using the sessions to educate the young members about the implications of hate crime and the importance of identity.

The members have been busy creating a short video along with a poem to voice their message on identity and will be previewing that once the project ends next week.

 

Spotlight on —– Volunteer Coordinator – Joanne Gavin

Our dedicated staff play a crucial role in making sure that the Bolton Lads & Girls Club doors are always open. This month we put the spotlight on Joanne Gavin who started helping at the Club as a volunteer at events before becoming a paid staff member with BLGC in 2015. Read on to find out why Joanne is so passionate about her job as a Volunteer Coordinator.

Name: Joanne Gavin

Age: the big 50 at the end of the year but volunteering and working here makes me feel 20 years younger!

Job Title: Volunteer Coordinator

How long have you been with BLGC?

I started as a volunteer helping at events in January 2000 after a request from Nick Hopkinson who was my boss at the time and was also running the fundraising event.  In 2007 I became a volunteer mentor which I still do now and in 2015 I became a paid member of the team.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I love finding the amazing volunteers and starting them on their journey, whether it be as a mentor, youth club worker, football coach or any role which would suit their expertise. Its great going out and talking to the people of Bolton about what we do and how being a volunteer with Bolton Lads & Girls Club is such a great opportunity, both for the young person but also for the volunteer.

What do you get out of your role?

I love watching the confidence blossom with our volunteers. The immense satisfaction I get from seeing the positive relationships the volunteers build either 1-1 or with a group of young people cannot be measured.

Would you recommend anyone to becoming a Volunteer? 

Yes! It’s such a rewarding role, volunteers are not always altruistic, they may be doing it to get experience either for education or work purposes for example so it’s great to see them reach their full potential. When you see a volunteer mentor with their mentee and the amazing bond they have developed and know that you helped find that person, how could you not recommend that as a job.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a Volunteer coordinator

Become a volunteer yourself in an area that interests you, be passionate about what you represent, how can you convince others to give up their time for free if you’ve never done it yourself.

What makes working at BLGC so special?

BLGC is a family, we are all different, we support each other, laugh and cry with each other but we all have the one goal, “ensuring the young people of Bolton have somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to” watching a young person mature and reach their potential, being that safe place, offering opportunities that young people would not get otherwise, how can anyone not think that’s special!

If you have been inspired by Joanne’s story and would like to get involved with Bolton Lads & Girls Club, please do get in touch with us.