Charity Inspire Motivate Overcome (IMO) has been awarded a grant of £10,000 by the Canal and River Trust.

IMO helps local young people and their families to combat disadvantage in the Audley & Queens Park wards of Blackburn.

Waterways and wellbeing charity, Canal & River Trust is working with Sport England to launch a project to help communities across Pennine Lancashire to keep active during the coronavirus pandemic.

Making use of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the Trust is encouraging community groups to get active and is offering funding, via Sport England, for canoes, kayaks and bikes and other facilities to help enjoy the waterway.

The funding will allow the Blackburn charity to train six cycling and paddle sport instructors who will deliver regular cycling and paddle sport activities for young people and their families using the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Vicki Birch, tackling inequalities fund leader at Canal & River Trust, said: "These very local charities do invaluable work, from helping tackle loneliness to supporting disadvantaged children and young people to improve their wellbeing especially during the current pandemic.

"They are providing local people with opportunities in life where, and when, it is needed the most.

"The Leeds & Liverpool Canal passes through many of these communities and is vital outdoor green and blue space on their doorstep.

"We would encourage anyone involved in a local charity or not-for-profit organisation to get in touch to see how we can work together to help tackle inequality and improve people’s lives."

The project is targeting lower socio-economic groups as well as black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities who are currently under represented on the canal.

Local not-for-profit groups can apply for funding of between £500 - £10,000 to help them continue to engage and deliver canal-based activity during the coronavirus pandemic.