A LATE blast of summer hit Bradford today as Centenary Square was turned into a fairground by a city charity.

The free Summer Blast event featured a host of family-friendly activities including hook-a-duck, penalty shoot-out competition photobooth, face painting and a chocolate fountain.

More than 1,500 people attended the event, organised by Bradford Youth Development Partnership (BYDP). The charity, based in Eldon Place, work with people aged between eight and 30 across the Bradford district and was set up in 1999.

The charity run a host of projects across Bradford including Palz+, mentoring and social activities for eight to 13-year-olds referred from school, culture projects for youngsters interested in arts and Real Futures, a scheme for 16 to 19-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training. They also aim to reduced youth unemployment through their work.

The six-hour event was set up to help the charity raise both its profile and funds for a new 17-seat minibus, which will cost them £30,000.

Other activities on offer included a bouncy castle, basketball hoops and a bike with a smoothie maker attached to the back which riders peddled to help make a drink.

BYDP had numerous stalls offering those who came along to enjoy the festivities more information on their work.

Chris Johnson, BYDP assistant manager, says they organised Summer Blast to let residents know about their work in the community.

He said: "The event was all about raising our profile with the public and encouraging more people to donate to us.

"We wanted people to have a good time and to interact with our staff. It's a good event to explain to people what we do.

"A lot of young people we work with come back to help out.

"The minibus is absolutely vital to our work. We help out 400 to 500 young people each year.

"We are not like a youth club. We are a project which helps develop young people to be independent in the future."

James Glen, of Bankfoot, who attended the event with his daughters, said: "I came down here when it opened and we had a cracking time. It was a good day of cheap entertainment.

"The kids had fun, that's what it's all about."

Rachael Collins, originally from Bradford, who came from Birmingham to attend the event with her seven-year-old son Ethan Smith, said: "It's been a lot of fun and good for the kids too."

Ethan added: "I scored a couple of goals and made a smoothie and won some glow-in-the-dark stickers on the hook-a-duck."

For more information on the Bradford Youth Development Partnership, call (01274) 201240 or email bydp@bydp.co.uk. To donate, text BYDP01 £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.