A SPORTS club offering young people with disabilities the chance to enjoy arts, crafts and sporting activities is fighting to stay open after financial bids failed to secure funding.

Northwich Multi Sports Club is ‘a lifeline’ for children and young people of all ages and provides them with the chance to try something new and exciting each week in a safe place where they can also relax and make new friends.

Multi Sports has been parent and voluntary-run since 2007 and was partly funded by grants, which earlier this year were not renewed.

Now the dedicated team based at Northwich Youth Centre on Winnington Lane have got to find £50,000 each year to stay open.

The club has just become a registered charity and has already collected around £1,400, £560 of which was raised by Oliver Dray.

The 19-year-old first year medical student used to volunteer and co-lead sports-based sessions for 18 months at the club before starting his university course in Liverpool, so when he decided to run the Manchester Marathon last month he knew exactly who to raise money for.

Oliver said: “I trained for seven weeks and even though I’m really into keeping fit I found it tough.

“When I got to mile 17 it was incredibly hard but I just kept thinking that I was doing it for the kids and it spurred me on.”

Barbara Rimmer, chairperson and trustee, said: “We’re a small group but so many people tell us we are a lifeline and they couldn’t cope without us.

“We provide a wide range of activities for children aged between five and 19 – and beyond – and their siblings and friends and many of them tell us it’s a cool place to be on a Saturday morning.”

Outgoing Northwich mayor Bob Robinson named Northwich Multi Sports as his chosen charity after spending several Saturday mornings with the youngsters.

Barbara added: “We think Bob is wonderful and he’s always been very supportive.

“We hope that by being the nominated charity it will boost our profile and let people know that we are here.”

Northwich Multi Sports Club meets every Saturday for art sessions between 10am and 11am and sports session, which can include dance, games and athletics as well as circus skills and kayaking, between 11am and 12.30pm.

More information is available by visiting multisports-northwich.co.uk.