MUSICIANS are helping each other to improve their skills and encourage more children to learn to play an instrument.

Northwich Guitar Club is a community group that offers players of all abilities the chance to develop their expertise.

They meet weekly at Northwich Cricket Club at Moss Farm in Winnington.

The group was set up last year by music teacher Kris Reid who had been running a beginners' guitar course at Sir John Deane's College.

Kris spent 15 years performing professionally in the music industry before becoming a teacher.

Founder club member Ian Smith, 70, said: "A number of us turned up, me with my £30 guitar from Aldi.

"The idea was to welcome guitar players of varying experience to join together to develop skills and enjoy the ambience of the club.

"We split into various groups depending on competence to learn songs and do various challenging musical renditions.

"We do Queen numbers and Eric Clapton songs."

Several times a year, the musicians perform gigs for friends and family and raise funds towards musical equipment for schools.

They have provided guitars for pupils at Hartford Manor and Winnington Park as part of the guitar4kids scheme, which develops playing skills in junior schools.

They hope to donate percussion instruments to children at Barnton Primary School in the coming weeks.

Ian said:"Funding in schools is tight as as music is not part of the core curriculum we felt that this would provide a positive contribution to the local area."

Learning to play the guitar requires dedication and commitment.

"A lot of people pick up the guitar and because they don't get an instant response, they often give up," said Ian. "You're really got to practice for a few months and you will be able to play different songs without looking at the frets.

"At home on your own people can become isolated and dispirited. Playing together in a group we can support each other and you don't lose your enthusiasm."

New members are welcome to come along any Thursday from 7pm to 9pm.