Mayor's pledge to carers

Beaverbrooks House
Beaverbrooks House
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Blackpool’s new mayor has pledged to help finish the work the BBC started as he kick started a year-long fundraising push.

Coun Ian Coleman was sworn in as the resort’s first citizen on Monday.

Coun Ian Coleman takes office

Coun Ian Coleman takes office

And he has pledged 90 per cent of the charity cash raised during his year in office to fund a new respite lodge at Blackpool Carers’ new centre in Newton Drive.

The centre, named Beaverbrook House, was given a multi-million pound makeover last year by the team from BBC Show DIY SOS, the programme broadcast to coincide with the annual Children in Need appeal.

That project suffered a serious over-run.

But now Coun Coleman is hoping he can raise the money to convert buildings used as a production offices into accomodation for carers young and old.

He said: “We are going to work extremely hard to raise money for a respite lodge at Beaverbrook House.

“It will provide overnight accomodation for young carers on the first floor and respite accomodation for dementia carers on the ground floor.

“It was originally part of the BBC plans but this part of the project was not completed because they ran out of time on the scheme.

“The building was used as production offices for the crew and was not touched in the makeover.

“It is wonderful we are going to be able to help with the next stage of development.”

Coun Coleman made clear his committment to supporting those in Blackpool who provide constant care to relatives.

He said: “There are so many selfless people in our town.

“We will help to bring respite and comfort to those who get no relief.

“In doing so we are going to help create a sustainable future for the carers centre.”

As well as offering respite to those from Blackpool and the Fylde coast, Coun

Coleman says the centre will offer places to people from across the UK on a commercial basis.

The other 10 per cent of Coun Coleman’s mayoral charity pot will go to the Blackpool branch of the Royal British Legion, for which he has campaigned for many years.

Coun Coleman said the charity was in desperate need of funds.

He said: “This money will go towards their ongoing costs and should help sustain the charity until a longer term plan can be devised.”