A COMMUNITY cohesion centre is hoping to tackle issues affecting young people through performing arts.

Hooked-Up is being spearheaded by community worker Anje Seeds, who will run the project from the Royal British Legion Working Men’s Club, in Walmsley Street, Rishton.

The 31-year-old was looking to set up a place that could meet the challenges facing young people and families affected by addiction and substance misuse.

Anje, who works as a coun-sellor for the NHS and as a support officer for Groundwork, a regeneration charity that works with communities to create better neighbourhoods, said she hoped the centre could help tackle anti-social behaviour and provide a base so that young people could positively engage in society.

She said: “It is about community cohesion and working in partnership.

“I think this is crucial, I have done a lot of research and there is no other provision doing all this.”

Anje, who lives in Newfield Drive, in Blackburn, has invested £5,000 of her own money, which had been intended for her 12-year-old son Lewis’s university fund, into the scheme.

She said it would also provide advice on sexual health and training opportunities.

She said: “I have been there myself and I needed that guiding hand. Not everybody is academic. I could not read or write properly and had to get help.

“I want young people to be able to get lost in the arts and expressing themselves.”

The centre will also hold coffee mornings and bingo sessions so that young and older people can intergrate.

Anje said: “We want young people to be able to share a story and we want the older people to embrace the young people too.

“We aim to provide a safe, controlled environment for young people to express themselves.

“And at the heart of our work lies the belief in young people.”