After securing the second Official Charts UK Number One album of their short careers, The Lathums have launched their own charitable fund to provide children and young people with aspirational creative opportunities in their home town of Wigan.
Initiating the Chance To See Fund as a difficult winter for families comes to an end, the band has struck up a long-term partnership with the cultural education charity, Curious Minds, to bring the light of creative expression to more young lives, especially those isolated from such activities by economic or social inequalities.
Last Friday the band beat off a strong challenge from Slowthai to secure their second Number One album with From Nothing To A Little Bit More. In a series of video addresses to fans, The Lathums dedicated their success to the community that has built around the band and now aim to use that momentum and critical mass of collective goodwill to make even more good things happen.
The launch of the Chance To See Fund follows the band’s well-reported exploits in securing funds for Wigan Athletic Supporters Club and Community Trust in 2020, raising over £4,000 with the raffle of a one-off 7” vinyl release. Sensitive to the challenges faced by children and young people without access to the funding to learn instruments and create art, at the same time recognising the privileges and opportunities of being a popular band, the long-term charitable initiative seeks to offer similar encounters with culture and creativity that helped The Lathums on their road to success.
A band statement says: “Just having an acoustic guitar when times have been tough has meant that The Lathums became possible and offered us escape from whatever was happening in our lives at the time. Some people can’t get their hands on a guitar or encounter any other form of creativity and the idea of never having that opportunity breaks our hearts. When attention has rightly been on heating and eating through the colder months, by starting this fund with Curious Minds we’d also like to take care of some of the other things that make life worth living.”
The funds raised through future events and initiatives are set to provide a much-needed antidote to the stress, worry and social isolation young people in Wigan are experiencing because of the cost-of-living crisis. The Chance To See Fund will be managed by Wigan based charity Curious Minds on behalf of Culture Unlocked, Wigan’s Cultural Education Partnership and 100% of the fund will then be directed to established youth and community providers in Wigan to implement activities and programmes within criteria agreed between the charity and the band.
The focus is expected to be wholly on delivering opportunities for young people to create compose, perform, visit, experience and participate in brilliant arts and culture, giving them access to inspirational creative role-models and life affirming experiences.
Kelly Allen, Executive Director for Social Justice at Curious Minds said: “Young people living in challenging circumstances need hope. They need inspiration, a form of expression and a way to imagine life different from how it is now. These are all things that art and culture do extremely well. We’re very proud to be working with The Lathums to improve life for the young people in Wigan who really need it.”