About Us

Harmony Youth Project is a charity which has worked primarily with the most disadvantaged young people in Bolton and the surrounding areas for over ten years.

Harmony Youth Project was set up to assist young people, especially those who are disadvantaged, in realising their true potential through the medium of creative arts and positive social activities.

In the recording studioWe are equipped with two fully working recording studios, a photography studio, hairdressing salon, art and craft rooms, and a large dance floor; there is also a small stage area for live performances. Within the walls of Harmony Youth Project young people who want a career in the performing arts, beauty and fashion, photography, or art and design can learn, at their own pace, everything from the basics to the more advanced. The members of staff are highly trained to understand the needs of disadvantaged children and provide a fun, relaxed but structured environment.

A budding cameramanHere at Harmony we recognise that not all children are natural academic achievers and therefore the Alternative Curriculum we offer is very hands on and also leads to a formal NOCN accreditation as Harmony is now an Authorised Centre.

At Harmony we offer an alternative / complementary education to KS3/4 to pupils who have been withdrawn from school to avoid permanent exclusion. Generally these pupils have a history of poor attendance and dissatisfaction.

Harmony’s project work is recognised by several Local Authorities and we have been awarded the “Bolton Mark” by Bolton Council which is their Benchmark for Operating Standards.

Harmony also gives help and support to people who wish to start their own youth organisations.

If you think you know someone who has what it takes to be a Volunteer or Youth Worker, then why not get in touch with us and make it happen?


The Facility


The National Open College Network (NOCN)

What is the unit award scheme?

The NOCN qualification scheme provides the opportunity to give students formal recognition of their success in short units of work. The scheme promotes effective teaching and learning by ensuring that those writing and delivering units give careful consideration to learning outcomes, evidence and assessments and by setting down clear targets for students.

Who uses the scheme?

The unit award scheme is used by approximately 1000 centres throughout the United Kingdom (schools, colleges, special education establishments, pupil referral units, hospital education services etc.) to recognise student achievement across a wide range of subject areas and activities. It can be used with students of any ability and of any age.

What certification is provided?

Success in each unit is recognised through an ongoing basis by the issue of a unit award statement which details the outcomes demonstrated by the student in successfully completing the unit. This recognition of success has been shown to motivate students and improve their performance. Each student also receives a summary letter of credit which lists by title, all the units that have been completed.


Harmony Youth Project was conceived by counsellor Charlie Barrett who found that youth clubs were not adequate enough for the needs of young people,  and something needed to be done.

Teaming up with a man called Steve Southern they set up a business, and instead of counselling they devised a programme of music therapy, as it is much lighter and can be an incredibly effective method of dealing with issues. Mr Barrett also believed that young people needed a focus in order to prevent them from taking a negative behavioural route. He decided to progress and in the year 2001 he set up the charity, Harmony Youth Project, in which he could incorporate all of his ideas and provide young people with a much needed distraction and provide an alternative to negative behaviour.

Over the years that Harmony has been operating it has seen a lot of changes & developments to its structure. Harmony is mostly associated with the long list of diverse musical talent which has emerged through the various projects and workshops taking place over the years. We believe that by working together we are also tackling their underlying problems and that we will achieve our objectives which are:

  • Creation of self expression
  • Positive Interaction with their peers
  • Breakdown of barriers and creation of new friendships
  • Increase in self esteem
  • Decrease in anti-social behaviour
  • Potential to achieve formal accreditation


Now that Harmony Youth Project is an accredited centre for delivering NOCN qualification, Mr Barrett has been looking to the future and towards the free school or academy, in which Harmony Youth Project could deliver full time education to disadvantaged young people from Bolton and surrounding areas like Atherton, Wigan and Leigh. Harmony Youth Project is equipped with two fully working recording studios, a photography studio, hairdressing salon, art and craft rooms, and a large dance floor; Harmony Project Youth also has a small stage area for live performances. So within the walls of Harmony Youth Project young people who want a career in the performing arts, beauty and fashion, photography or art and design can learn from the basics to the more advanced.