Burnley Boys’ Club facing staff cutbacks

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STAFF cutbacks at Burnley’s oldest youth club could mean it having to scale back its activities.

Burnley Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Barden Lane is to lose six staff seconded by Lancashire County Council which is being forced to make savings.

The club was formed in 1899, originally known simply as Burnley Boys’ Club, and has provided generations of young people in Burnley with a place to socialise, play games and learn new skills.

Club leader Mr John Melvin said: “It is a blow but we will have to cut our cloth accordingly. The staff worked here in the evenings, Monday to Friday.

“They helped with the various activities our young people took part in, but will have to finish at the end of November. We are lucky in that we have some very dedicated volunteers who are also well-qualified but we are always in need of more volunteers.”

The club offers outdoor sports such as football, cricket, netball, volleyball, badminton and basketball. It is also the only youth club in Lancashire to offer archery and air rifles.

Indoors, members can play snooker, pool, table tennis or do arts and crafts.

“We currently don’t open on Saturday evenings so it could be that we close one weekday night and open on Saturday which will actually be better.

“We are entirely self-funding, and always have been, but this is more important than ever now. As to the long-term future of the club we can never say what will happen but we all endeavour to keep its long tradition alive.

“The club keeps young people off the streets and gives them worthwhile activities which enhance their lives, so we will do everything we can to keep it going.”

The club also offers lessons in life skills such as cooking and recently secured £20,000 from the TSB Foundation, which will help with its running costs for the next two years.

“I would like to thank two Burnley councillors, Jan Brown and Peter McCann, who have been excellent in giving us advice and support.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer at the club should call 424038.