Putting their faith in helping the community

This Is Lancashire: From left, Saif, aged 10, Latif, aged five, and Jiva Alaina at a Bolton Interfaith Council open day in Victoria Square From left, Saif, aged 10, Latif, aged five, and Jiva Alaina at a Bolton Interfaith Council open day in Victoria Square

YOUNG people of different faiths will come together to celebrate their achievements tomorrow.

Bolton Interfaith Council set up the Young Ambassadors Forum (BIYAF) six years ago to get young people involved in interfaith work.

There are currently about 20 girls, aged between 11 and 22, who regularly meet at The Bolton Hub, Bold Street, to learn about different faiths, cultures and traditions.

They participate in debates and discussions, work with the elderly people’s group and develop skills, including public speaking.

Meera Solanki, aged 16, who goes to Harper Green School, said: “We’re working together to create a more cohesive community in Bolton.

“There are a lot of people with different cultures, religions and race.

“We’re just trying to bring everyone together.

“As part of the Young Ambassadors, I’ve done a lot of events. We took part in the Olympic torch coming to Bolton.

"We also did the Bolton lights switch-on last year and we take part in faith trails. I took part in Bolton Youth MP, I was a candidate two years ago. Before that, I couldn’t speak to anybody. I was really shy and not confident at all.

“I’ve made a lot of new friends and I’m a lot more confident now.”

This volunteer-run project sees girls from all three major faiths in Bolton — Christians, Hindus and Muslims — working together to make a difference.

Chan Parmar, Bolton Interfaith Council strategic officer, said: “From a Bolton Interfaith point of view, we hope that these young people will be good future model citizens and leaders of our town and country.

“This project has given me, volunteers and Bolton Interfaith Council immense pride and joy to work with at all times.”

The event will be held tomorrow from 6.30pm to 9.30pm at Emmanuel Church Hall, Vicarage Street, where parents of the young ambassadors will also learn more about their work.


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