Sheriff takes a tour of women’s centre

High Sheriff Amanda Parker visits Blackpool Women's Centre.  She is pictured (centre) with locality manager Tracey Highland and chief executive of Lancashire Women Centres Sarah Swindley.
High Sheriff Amanda Parker visits Blackpool Women's Centre. She is pictured (centre) with locality manager Tracey Highland and chief executive of Lancashire Women Centres Sarah Swindley.
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The High Sheriff of Lancashire was in town to find out about the support and offer for Fylde Coast women.

Amanda Parker came to visit the Blackpool Women’s Centre, on Church Street, to meet staff and talk to women from the local community.

The Blackpool women’s centre, along with other centres across Lancashire, aims to help women to get the best out of life by providing free services, such as counselling, debt advice and personal development training.

The centre – which supports women with issues such as parenting, debt, employment, abuse, health, offending and accommodation – helped more than 600 women in its first year.

The High Sheriff was given a tour of the new centre building, and she joined in a weekly coffee morning to speak to those who use the centre.

Mrs Parker was able to hear first-hand about the role the centre plays in the lives of Fylde coast women, as well as talk about support for mental health, women’s offending and reducing isolation.

Sarah Swindley, chief executive of Lancashire Women’s Centres, said: “The visit from the High Sheriff provided a great opportunity for LWC to showcase our work and for the High Sheriff to hear first hand about the experiences of women in Lancashire.

“This informal visit enabled her to chat to volunteers, staff and service users about the services we offer and the impact they had on the lives of women.

“She was particularly interested to hear about our programmes supporting female offenders, and work to divert women from the criminal justice system into community-based activities, which provide the opportunity for their underlying needs to be met.”

Tracey Highland, locality manager at the Blackpool Centre, said: “Our service-users, volunteers and staff very much enjoyed meeting the High Sheriff and were really excited about the visit to our centre.

“The High Sheriff was really interested in the services we have at the Blackpool Centre and we really appreciate her taking time to visit us.”

There are also centres in Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington and Preston.