A YOUTH centre in Darwen has been spruced up thanks to recycled paint from the town’s biggest employer.

Crown Paints launched the ‘Kick out the Can’ initiative last year to coincide with Climate Week.

Householders across the country were invited to free up their sheds, garages and cupboards by returning surplus paint to any Crown Decorating Centre.

The paint was then reprocessed by social enterprise Nimtech at the firm’s Hollins Road plant before being sent to worthy projects nationwide.

And one of the first to benefit was Reachout in Ash Grove, which has been redecorated by volunteers.

Lesley Hall, project manager for Reachout Darwen, which offers community activities for ages eight to 25, said: “Earlier in the summer we asked our young people what kind of activities they would like to do, and a popular idea was to spruce up the centre. Our young people have volunteered to decorate the centre themselves and brighten up a space which has proved so valuable to the community.

“Crown Paints also gave us an additional donation for a 24-year-old man who accessed our facilities and became a mentor for our younger participants while living in supported accommodation. He has recently been able to move into a flat and we were delighted that he was able to benefit from this scheme and put a personal touch to his new home.”

Reachout Darwen, formerly Youth Works, has been running for 15 years, offering a host of projects and activities to young people and families.

The sustainability manager at Crown Paints, Mark Lloyd, said: “Projects that support our young people are often of vital importance, particularly when children, teenagers and young adults feel isolated or dissociated from society.

“We are delighted with the response we received to the ‘Kick out the Can’ campaign and even more pleased to see that our young people are taking their own initiative to spruce up their youth centre.”