Big funding boost for village group

Community Giveaway 2015  by Swallowdale Children's Turst in association with The Blackpool Gazette at The Imperial Hotel.'Pictured is Gazette Deputy Editor Andy Sykes and Chairman of Swallowdale CHildren's Trust with Community Giveaway Winners Streetwise Youth Club.'4th June 2015
Community Giveaway 2015 by Swallowdale Children's Turst in association with The Blackpool Gazette at The Imperial Hotel.'Pictured is Gazette Deputy Editor Andy Sykes and Chairman of Swallowdale CHildren's Trust with Community Giveaway Winners Streetwise Youth Club.'4th June 2015

A Freckleton-based community group has dreams of opening seven days a week after receiving a cash boost to help purchase new equipment.

Gerry and Elaine Gregoire founded Streetwise in 2002 and are committed to raising the aspirations of young people.

“It’s a privilege to have this money, it will help us get new equipment to keep us going.

Gerry Gregoire, Streetwise co-founder

Now, thanks to a £1,000 boost from the Swallowdale Children’s Trust, which handed out grants totalling £10,000 last week, the group will relaunch an event and buy equipment.

The couple use the group to attempt to break down any barriers and ensure that all people aged between five to 19-years-old are included in fun-filled activities.

They also train members to be volunteer youth workers and have several members who used the facility when they were younger and are now willing to sacrifice their time to support the group.

Elaine said: “This in essence makes us feel proud as the investment in them is repaid in investing in others.

“Some former members are married, raising their own children or at university and are still willing to lend a hand.”

Over the years additional activities have been provided throughout the week including street dance lessons and box fit training.

The street dancers have experienced success by reaching the finals in Fylde’s Got Talent on several occasions and have danced at many functions allowing them to grow in confidence.

After winning £1,000 last Thursday from The Swallowdale Children’s Trust, backed by Express sister paper The Gazette, Streetwise is able to replace much-needed equipment and relaunch the club’s “Time to Shine” event which provides young people with the opportunity to participate in singing workshops, drama, writing lyrics, media and play a variety of musical instruments.

Gerry said: “It’s a privilege to have this money, it will help us get new equipment to keep us going. We are going to be producing a number of educational videos on the problems of bullying, binge drinking and knife crime which we hope you may see soon in the future.”

Elaine added: “There’s lots of activities for the kids to get involved with, our job is to build aspirations and involve children whatever talent they have. This money will go a long way in helping us to do that.”

“Our dream is for Streetwise to have its very own community centre open seven days a week.”