AS our We Love Lancashire campaign continues, Joe Harrigan spoke to a community centre that has been leading the way with local clean ups and instilling pride in their area to the younger generation.

The Audley Centre, on Chester Street, is one of the most well-loved and vital facilities in Blackburn.

Last year was supposed to see the centre celebrate a milestone 30th anniversary with a range of initiatives, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

However, manager Omar Zaman has continued to organise successful community clean ups which have enthused the local community and most importantly taught a variety of important lessons to local children.

He said: “There have been all kinds of measures to tackle litter around the car park and all around the centre and we’ve partnered with the council and with the Mosque over the road to help do this.

“We’ve had some of the Mosque kids come over to help at various times in year and for treats we’ve also been holding football sessions for the kids.

“We’ve also helped them to clean up around the local area and we’ve given them a sense of pride in their community.”

He added: “When you teach kids at an early age, it gives them more of a sense of identification with their local community.”

Mr Zaman himself had benefited from many of the centre’s facilities and activities growing up and as such understands better than anyone the importance of passing these kinds of attitudes along to the next generation.

He said: “For me, when the opportunity came up to give something back, it was a no brainer.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The centre runs a range of activities

Along with the clean up initiatives, the centre runs a range of sports activities for both adults and children, not just football and cricket but also badminton, netball and many other, and hopes that men and women, boys and girls alike will get involved.

Meanwhile, where clean up campaigns are concerned, Mr Zaman said: “We’re always looking for new volunteers to help out.”