Published Wednesday 11 May 2022 at 12:00
Darwen’s biggest employer – WEC Group – has become the latest gold patron for Youth Zone Darwen taking it ‘tantalisingly close’ to its £250K fundraising target.
The company, established for more than 40 years, grew from a small welding and fabrication shop in a makeshift shed in Darwen into one of the largest contract manufacturing companies in Europe.
Now employing more than 850 people at sites across the UK, WEC Group has pledged its support to Youth Zone Darwen by becoming a gold patron.
Managing Director of WEC Group, Steve Hartley, said:
As a company, we’re passionate about supporting the local community in Darwen.
We’re also committed to investing in young people – particularly through our award-winning apprenticeship scheme.
Having heard about the fantastic work that Darwen Youth Zone is doing and the difference it’s already making in the town, we’re delighted to be the new gold patrons.
WEC Group is the latest business to respond to a fundraising drive to raise £250,000 to make a temporary Youth Zone Darwen offer – which launched in response to the pandemic – permanent.
Thanks to donations already pledged by businesses, patrons and Blackburn with Darwen Council, the sessions have been extended to run seven days a week for all youngsters in the area aged eight to 19.
Welcoming the news, Youth Zone Chief Executive, Hannah Allen said:
We are incredibly thankful to WEC Group for agreeing to become a gold patron of Youth Zone Darwen – their support is really important to us and will help make a real difference to young people’s lives.
By becoming a gold patron, it also takes us tantalising close to our fundraising target of £250,000 which is incredible in such a short time.
Thanks to the money raised from our patrons and the support of Blackburn with Darwen Council, we’re really pleased to have already been able to extend our sessions to run seven days a week for our 700 members.
Our focus is now on transforming the Meeting Places building so it’s a state-of-the art facility which even more Darwen youngsters can access – we can’t wait to get started.
As well as a safe place to socialise, the Youth Zone Darwen scheme supports youngsters to learn new skills and access new opportunities – including those created through the Darwen Town Deal.
Phil Riley, Deputy Chair of Darwen Town Deal and Leader Elect of Blackburn with Darwen Council, thanked WEC Group for their support.
Despite having sites across the country, WEC Group has long focused its charitable efforts in Darwen, including vital regeneration works to Darwen Tower, the landmark Spitfire which stands prominently in the town centre and it continuously supports community efforts large and small which is brilliant.
For me, it’s been fantastic to see the outpouring of support for the Youth Zone Darwen fundraising drive with the first £250,000 already within touching distance.
The Council is proud to be supporting this scheme and we’re looking forward to more youngsters being able to access the sessions at the upgraded facilities.
To find out more about Youth Zone Darwen and to view the full schedule of sessions, please visit: http://www.blackburnyz.org/
To enquire about becoming a patron, please email: email@example.com
For the latest Darwen Town Deal updates, visit: www.darwentowndeal.co.uk