MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

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THIS week it was ten years since Lytham’s flagship Park View 4U organisation was set up by concerned parents who wanted to provide better play facilities for their children.

And a decade on, some of those who were integral to creating a park for the community to be proud of were honoured during a gala dinner at Lowther Pavilion.

Park View 4U’s motto is ‘putting the heart back into Lytham’ and it is difficult to over-estimate the affect this group of well-meaning volunteers has had on the town since their work began.

Some of you who knew Park View before will remember water-logged playing fields with a few rusting goal posts, drafty changing rooms and a few scattered pieces of unloved play equipment.

Now, as well as top-class football pitches with drainage there is a multi-use games area, quality play equipment for all ages, a BMX track, skateboard park, woodland walk, cafe and gardens.

On top of that, the volunteers organise Lytham Community Choir, gardening and wildlife clubs, health walks and Tai Chi sessions, woodland lessons and school visits and they are currently bidding to create a sand and water play area on Lytham promenade, away from the park.

Along the way they have received the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award, when I joined them at Number 10 to meet David Cameron, and the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

While some would just have accepted the status quo, this group of parents and children worked together to create something special which can be enjoyed by the whole community and they should be extremely proud of the difference they have made to their town.

I for one can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring.

I was delighted to learn this week that Church Road Day Centre had found a new home which would mean it could continue to provide its excellent service in St Annes.

The centre has been giving vulnerable elderly people, particularly those with mental health needs, a place to go and socialise with others for years and remains close to many of their hearts.

When I heard it was to close I contacted everyone I could think of who may be able to give them new premises and was pleased when Clifton Dance Academy came forward with a solution.

I hope this will mean the day centre will continue to be available for people for years to come.

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