Paralympian opens town’s new children’s centre

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Paralympian Shelly Woods has officially opened a new support centre for Fylde coast children.

Wheelchair athlete Shelly, who won a silver medal in the marathon at the Paralympics in London 2012, unveiled a plaque to open the Blenheim Child Development and Family Support Centre for children which recently moved to new premises at the Whitegate Drive Health Centre in Blackpool.

The centre, which was previously based on Newton Drive in the resort, supports children across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde who have physical or learning needs and aims to provide assessment, ongoing intervention and family support for pre-school children in a friendly and informal environment.

Consultant Community Paediatrician, Dr Megan Thomas, who oversees the work of the centre, said the children and their families were benefiting from the new premises.

She said: “The facilities here are more modern and more joined up so that staff are closer together in one area and we benefit from the health centre facility with its on site pharmacy and other services.

“The move has enabled us to move with the times with benefits including a much larger sensory room that the children love.’’

Trust Chairman, Mr Ian Johnson, praised the former League of Friends group at the hospital for their financial support.

He said: “Without the financial backing of the League of Friends this move would not have been possible. They donated more than £100,000 to the facility and we are eternally grateful to them for their generosity.’’

A number of multidisciplinary services are provided at the centre provided by a team of experts including a Consultant Community Paediatrician, Associate Specialists, Specialist Health Visitors, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Nursery Officers and Administration staff.