Phil in line for success

OPEN MIC: Phil Ashcroft has turned his life around and is set to begin running line-dancing classes
OPEN MIC: Phil Ashcroft has turned his life around and is set to begin running line-dancing classes
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Phil Ashcroft used to spend lonely nights sleeping on his friend’s bedroom floor.

Now, he’s swapping his rags for cowboy boots and stetsons as he starts up his very own line-dancing business.

The 22-year-old enlisted the help of Leyland-based homeless centre Key when he found himself without anywhere to live at 20.

And after turning life life around and getting back on the straight and narrow, he turned his passion for dancing into a business idea and is soon to start teaching people how to sequence step.

Phil said: “I got into quite a bit of trouble when I was younger. I was a bit of a tearaway and when I was younger I got involved in drugs.

“I got out of it and got myself on the straight and narrow and decided to do this.”

Phil, who lives on Wade Hall, will start instructing aspiring country dancers on June 8 at the Royal British Legion on School Lane.

He says he couldn’t have done it without the help of staff at Key who helped him get funding for the venture.

He said: “I have been dancing since I was about eight years old. My mum brought me up around line dancing and I sort of taught myself.

“Key helped me to get on a housing list and then I had a meeting with them about finding a job.

“I mentioned that I had just come back from teaching line dancing with a friend and they brought me round to thinking logically about what I wanted to do.

“I was interested in doing something like this but didn’t know how to go about it.

“They helped me with planning everything out and we made a business plan.”

Phil was then helped to apply for a grant from the Buttle UK Trust, a charity which provides help and grants to vulnerable young people. He was granted £2700 to start the sessions.

A spokesperson for Key said: “Phil is such a nice lad who has had a tough time. We worked together to develop a business plan and we’re glad things are now in place for him to start the classes next month.

“Usually the Buttle Trust only give grants for things like college course and jobs and this is the first one for a small business venture so he has done really well.”

The classes are for those aged 18 and over and will run every Wednesday from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

For details, call 07543 583322, and to learn more about Key visit www.keyonline.org.uk.