Brightening lives of the Fylde’s youngsters

Swallowdale Giveaway - 177 Blackpool Airport Squadron Air Cadets
Swallowdale Giveaway - 177 Blackpool Airport Squadron Air Cadets
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Do you know a youngster or child-friendly community group in need of a generous cash boost?

The Swallowdale Community Giveaway is set to launch in the coming days, and is offering £10,000 to people under the age of 25, as well as youth groups, schools, nurseries and children’s sports groups.

Last week, three previous winners told how the money had made a difference to young people’s lives and today even more of last year’s successful applicants have revealed what winning meant to them.

The Blackpool Airport Squadron Air Cadets were awarded £1,200 for indoor climbing equipment.

Flight lieutenant Andrew Nickson said: “It allowed us to use indoor and outdoor climbing walls. We bought ropes, harnesses, helmets and bags to keep it all safe.

“It has given the cadets access to an entirely new activity they otherwise would not have had.

“It’s a very fun, engaging activity that involves them working together as a team. It has been really good.”

The cadets used the cash to purchase eight sets of climbing equipment, which they use at Blackpool Sports Centre.

Flt Lt Nickson said: “It had absolutely done the air cadets good and given them an opportunity they didn’t have before. The determination on their faces when they climb to the top of the wall, for us it has been money well spent.”

The Blackpool Brass Bandlings were awarded £500 for new sheet music for the band, which is made up of 14 youngsters aged eight to 17.

Sarah Sanderson, cornet player at Blackpool Brass, said: “What we managed to do was have some leaflets printed about the band to distribute around the local area and from that we managed to pick up four new members, which is good because we haven’t had any new members in a long time.

“We got a mouthpiece extractor, which is quite an expensive piece of equipment, which we can use to fix instrument mouthpieces there and then.

“We bought about 10 loads of youth band sheet music of various difficulties. One was a TV showcase which includes the Muppets and the A Team. We had a Casino Royale one and a Ghostbusters which they absolutely love.”

Meanwhile, children at Preesall and Knott End Youth and Community Association can complete their homework using state-of-the-art computers and a printer purchased with £500 of Swallowdale cash.

Preesall councillor Phil Orme said: “When they built the centre back in 2002 it was equipped with an IT suite, but computers so quickly go out of date and so by about five years ago they were so slow they were due for the scrap heap.

“We weren’t too bad off to start with because we still had the computers from county hall, but when county hall withdrew its youth provision for Over Wyre they took their computers with them. That’s what we needed replacing. It has been of benefit to the children. We bought three new computers and a printer and they were up and running, and the youth group – the younger ones particularly – use them for their homework.

“The youth club themselves use it should they need to look anything up.”