Notes from our Open Meeting …

On Wednesday 5th June we held our monthly Open Meeting at Emmanuel at the Mount Church. Pauline welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited a first speaker ….

Karen started by advising of the opportunity for a free smoke alarm safety test from Lancashire Fire & Rescue, particularly for anyone who was bed-ridden or isolated. To arrange a visit by local officers for yourself, a relative or neighbour telephone 0800 169 1125 and choose option 2 or visit the website here.

Charlotte from UR Potential spoke about their work with young people aged 15 – 25 not in education or unemployed. They can offer tailored free 1-to-1 support and advice on volunteering opportunities from their local base at Milton Street Neighbourhood Centre and also at events in Blackpool, travel expenses can be paid. For more information contact Charlotte on charlotte@urpotential.co.uk

Jacob and Jamie have set up a LGBT group and now meet every first Saturday of the month at Fleetwood Library from 12 noon to 2pm for coffee and chat. They also have a Quiz Night planned for the 15th July in Blackpool and a Picnic In The (Memorial) Park on 27th July. All welcome to the events, see their Facebook page for more.

Sara called in straight from a nearby community project, transforming an alley way off Seabank Road. Supported by partners Fleetwood Town Council, Regenda and Emmanuel Church the area has been tidied, repainted and benefitting from planting as part of Fleetwood in Bloom as they look to achieve a Gold Award in 2019. Donations of plants, offers to volunteer or create some unique artwork in the space are welcome and it’s hoped this will be the first of many similar projects across the Town. If you’d like to know more contact Claire at Emmanuel on 01253 770646.

Joanne is a resident who wants to raise awareness of the amazing support given by young carers in the area and give them something back. She is training for a 17km paddle across Conniston Water in the Lake District on the 23rd June as a fundraiser ahead of a Halloween themed ball at the North Euston later in the year. The idea is to invite local young carers to the ball as a thank you for everything they do. You can support this great cause by donating at Joanne’s Go Fund Me page.

This opened up a discussion about how the young carers themselves are supported and in fact there was a lot more that needed to be done in this area. It was hard to find the right organisation to ask for help or even what help to ask for. Joanne was thanked for bringing this issue to the meeting’s attention and discussions followed after the meeting.

The Open Meeting was being held as part of a bigger event, a showcase of opportunities from Lancashire Adult Learning. Sarah explained more about what was available and several new courses will be starting later in the year in Fleetwood, all free. Healthier Fleetwood will be working with Lancashire Adult Learning in the months ahead to share the opportunities so please check our social media, the local press and for leaflets around Town.

At this point, and with affection … it became the Healthier Michaela show! As a member of Harmony & Health, the ANON art group and a volunteer at Fleetwood Library, Michaela is in her words “full of the joys of Spring” and “buzzing”. Getting involved in the community and making many new friends has helped the wonderful Michaela grow in confidence and become less reliant on the support of the care services. It’s not always easy to make changes in your life and take more control over the issues facing you but Michaela is a perfect example of the amazing outcomes that can be achieved.

Mags had to try and follow Michaela and thanked everyone so far for their honesty and courage in sharing their stories. She told us about her work with Emerging Futures in supporting not just those in substance or alcohol recovery but their families too. Mags is setting up a new Fleetwood group and local events to provide this help and will be recruiting volunteers soon for accredited roles and can be contacted on mags.burrett@emergingfutures.org.uk

Mark from Lancashire Volunteer Partnership (LVP) works closely with several local projects and venues such as Fleetwood Library. LVP now places over 4,000 volunteers into roles across Lancashire and has a great deal of success in establishing a network of ‘befrienders’ in the last year. Pauline said “It’s so rewarding when you volunteer, a great sense of giving something back.” You can find out more at the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership website or email mark.trent@lancashire.gov.uk

Elaine is a member of the new Sister Circle group set up by local residents. This ladies-only group now organise a number of activities with the main meeting every Tuesday evening from 5.30pm at Milton Street Neighbourhood Centre. The group have been busy with creating knitted characters and painting pebbles of positivity message to leave round the Town and be shared on social media. See the Sister Circle Facebook page for all their news and events.

Michael has recently started a Facebook page to share all the good news in the Town …. visit Fleetwood Community Our Town Matters to find out more.

Mark also had something to share … he’s now Grandad! Another reason to celebrate was that Fleetwood’s Primary Care Home network of NHS agencies and residents had won a national award last week. See more about this on the Health Service Journal awards website.

The BBC continue to follow the Healthier Fleetwood story and would like meet residents who have made a difference to their health by taking up new hobbies and attending groups. Something is happening in Fleetwood as admissions to A&E departments are down locally compared to a rise across the Country. If you would be willing to be interviewed for TV and on the internet by the BBC, please contact us at listening@healthierfleetwood.co.uk.

Sarah from the Lancashire Skills Hub advises the meeting of the Escalate service on their website which signposts to support available to finding employment.

Milton Street Neighbourhood Centre had been mentioned a couple of times and a great deal of positive work and support is based there. Andrea spoke about how giving our younger residents a sense of hope was crucial to the community and that the recent success of Flakefleet School at Britain’s Got Talent would leave the children with a lasting memory of what they could achieve. The challenge was how to find out what young people really wanted, especially those who were hard to reach, and provide the right support which echoed the point Joanne had made earlier about young carers. An information ‘hub’ was suggested but it had to be more than just an on-line directory and a lot more discussion and action was needed on this topic.

Mark had asked the question at our last meeting “What matters to residents?” and there will be an opportunity to explore this at a special event on Tuesday 9th July from 5pm to around 7pm. On the night residents can make suggestions of what they’d like to see happen and have a voice in the discussions to make the changes that will benefit Fleetwood for everyone. The venue will be announced in the next week or so, there’s no need to book, please just turn up and get involved!

Everyone in the room came up with some initial suggestions and these ranged from the big issues such as a train station and the tidal barrage to high street shops to more respect, a stronger sense of pride and faith in the community and a better understanding of what it meant to be disabled …. just a taster of what we hope to hear at the event next month.

Pauline thanked everyone for their contribution to a very enjoyable and positive evening and closed the meeting.

If there is anything we can help with please contact us at listening@healthierfleetwood.co.uk

Healthier Fleetwood would like to thank everyone at Emmanuel Church for their hospitality in hosting our meetings and the support they offer to the Community.

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