TWO local charities in Blackburn are joining forces to work together for local young people. Inter Madrassah Organisation (IMO)has been active locally since 2006 and runs different activities each year including an annual football tournament, coaching sessions, education classes for women and different health awareness projects. Shin Gi Ruh is a Thai boxing club, based on Whalley Range, Blackburn and has over 300 members, mainly young people between the ages of 7-18 years old, including girls and boys from all different backgrounds – and older adults too.

The two organisations have agreed to collaborate and work together for the benefit of young people across the Borough. “When we met up with Shin Gi Ruh it was clear that our objectives are fundamentally the same,” said Bob McDonald, Operational Manager at IMO “We may do slightly different activities but we’re both trying to boost young people’s confidence and life skills. “It makes much more sense to co-operate than compete so we are going to be looking for a range of activities that we can do in partnership from now on.”

Yaseen Patel, IMO’s sports co-ordinator added: “It will be an excellent example of community cohesion and we’ve been pleased to help Shin Gi Ruh refresh some of their Thai boxing equipment because it’s such a worthwhile venture that can only help with engaging young people successfully.”

Both organisations are looking to develop some complementary activities together and IMO will soon be launching is Sports Academy and kick boxing will one of the key sports it will be offering.

“Hopefully together our organisations can enhance and build on what we are already doing,” said Mohammed Hanif Mall from Shin Gi Ruh. “We’ve created a joint youth forum which is an important step in giving the young people we work with a real say in what we offer and how we operate and they are already doing some local projects on health and employment issues.”