A GoFundMe page is raising money to take children from the Salford community to the Blackpool Illuminations.
With approximately 21 percent of children in Salford living below the poverty line, Salford’s Swan Minicabs, and Manchester charity, The Launch Project, are helping children with disadvantaged backgrounds have fun and positive experiences.
Natalie Jane Lek, the manager of The Launch Project, said: “The reduced amount of finances in the home reduces the amount of positive experiences children can have, and can be resulting in lack of school trips, lack of birthday party invitations, anything really that other children can benefit from.
“That in itself has a detrimental impact on children’s self confidence, self esteem, the mental mindset, the whole thing really has a massive impact, so the fewer social outings that children can experience with their friends and peers or family, the more the detrimental impact on their well being.”
The Blackpool Illuminations are an annual lights festival that sees six miles of traditional festoons and tableaux along the Promenade. The event also includes illuminated tram tours every evening and the Lightpool Festival during the October half-term.
Ms Lek has a personal connection with the city, adding: “I personally went to Blackpool quite frequently when I was much, much younger, my children go to Blackpool regularly, and I don’t see why other children can’t just because of finances. Surely as a community we should all be pulling together and ensuring that these children have positive experiences the same as any other child.
“Blackpool is well known for its illuminations, it’s well known for its fish and chips, so I think it will be a great idea.”
Here’s what the children can expect in Blackpool:
Working alongside The Launch Project is family-run business, Swans Minicabs. Owner Conrad Asquith, 30, who works alongside his father, said he is personally paying for the children’s pack lunches for their journey to Blackpool.
He also added: “This trip will mean the world to this kid that I helped with a food bank during the six week holidays.”
Ms Lek also spoke of Mr Asquith, saying: “Conrad is born and bread in Salford, he’s a Salford lad, he’s got children, and he wants to help other children have positive experiences.
“He’s happy to, as a local taxi firm, put back into the community.
“It’s very important he puts back into the community because you can have a business, anyone can have a business, and take money from the community, but it’s equally, I would say if not more important that you put that money back in every which way that you can, which is something Conrad is doing at the moment.”
To hear more about The Launch Project, listen here:
Ms Lek, alongside The Launch Project, is hoping to continue hosting events for Salford’s disadvantaged children.
She said: “I think in January/February, we’ll be looking for another trip for children.
“It could be anywhere from Southport to Liverpool; anywhere really that’s educational, that’s fun…that they can have a positive experience from.”
To find out more about the event, click here.