Much of the world has left the Christ out of Christmas, but what started out as the story of a homeless child born in a manger remains a festival with the young at its heart.

Contact Theatre is where young people change their lives through the arts, and audiences of all ages experience exciting new shows.

A traditional Victorian view of charities is that they enable those who have, to dispense largesse to those who haven't.

At Contact, young people don't wait for others to make things happen, instead taking control of their destinies, working alongside staff in deciding the artistic programme, making staff appointments and acting as full Board members.

And if you think that might be a recipe for mediocrity and childish drama, then give yourself a treat this Christmas and rather than head down to the city centre theatre to watch your nearest panto with its cast of A-List Celebs ("Oh, no, they're not!!!"), book a ticket to Contact's wonderfully original and witty Christmas Show, "The Forest of Forgotten Discos", where the entire cast integrate sign language into the performance.

The North West should be proud of and celebrate the talent of its young people, as they lead the way in ensuring no-one is left out of the fun at this special time of year.

Merry Christmas everyone!