Community schemes help neighbourhoods
Shaping Your Neighbourhood was launched in 2012 by Wyre Council to allow communities to be directly involved in improving their neighbourhoods, and has since allocated over £500,000 to community projects across the borough.
Successful projects have ranged from innovative support services for people suffering from cancer, mental health illnesses and bereavement to restoring community assets and a variety of improvements in children’s playgrounds, parks, gardens and town centres.
This year’s projects have a theme of improving enterprise, health or engagement in the borough and offered creative ideas that make a real long term difference to local people.
Projects can be something simple like the provision of equipment to enhance towns and villages, improvements to existing services or new ways to reach people and bring communities together.
Examples include a First World War commemorative garden in Claughton, a new playground at Jean Stansfield Park in Poulton, a social therapeutic horticulture project by Incredible Edibles Fylde and Wyre in Cleveleys and a community gardening tool bank at West View Community Association in Fleetwood.
The newly restored ICI war memorial at Four Lane Ends, Thornton, was officially unveiled last weekend.
Another of this year’s successful projects was St Oswald’s Dramatist’s (SODs), a group of young entertainers aged from eight to 18 years who have now been able to buy a new sound system.
A sculpture in honour of L S Lowry was officially unveiled, recently by the ferry slip at Knott End, also part funded by Shaping Your Neighbourhood and Preesall Town Council.
Wyre’s leader and chief executive start a series of ward walks with neighbourhood lead members this month and will meet community members to see how Shaping Your Neighbourhood is benefitting communities and to discuss priorities in the area.
Rewards of volunteering
Where would we be without volunteers?
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons.
For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them, and for others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it challenging and rewarding.
For some volunteering provides opportunities to help the environment, help others less fortunate or without a voice, feel valued and part of a team, spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle, and gain confidence and esteem.
For some volunteering can be a route to employment, or an opportunity to try something new which may lead to a career change.
From this perspective, volunteering can be a way of gaining new skills, knowledge and experience.
For others volunteering appeals because of its social benefits such as meeting new people and making new friends.
At Wyre we believe that together we make a difference.
Volunteers are absolutely crucial in supporting council services and helping to make sure that our communities flourish.
We currently have an irreplaceable army of over 200 volunteers working in a range of roles – coastal and countryside rangers and walk leaders, sports coaches, CCTV operators, theatre ushers, war memorial researchers, Marsh Mill tour guides and digital champions who show people how to use online services.
If you are interested in becoming a Wyre volunteer apply online at wyre.gov.uk/volunteer.
No soft touch on migration
The plight of migrants pouring into Europe has generated a tremendous amount of press and TV coverage.
The Prime Minister has said that the UK would take in up to 20,000 refugees currently housed in camps on the border of war torn Syria by the end of this Parliament.
I am proud that Britain continues to be the biggest donor of humanitarian aid to the Syrian crisis in Europe and second only to the USA globally.
And in doing so, the UK continues to show the world that this is a country of compassion, always standing up for our values and helping those in need.
Many illegal immigrants may see Britain as somewhere that offers the prospect of financial gain.
But by taking control of our borders once more and only taking refugees from the UN controlled Syrian camps the UK will be able to demonstrate that Britain is not a soft touch.