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GOOD NEWS EXTRA - 11th February

We had a fabulous evening on Wednesday, the first Open Meeting of 2024 with over 50 people attending and a fantastic 30 different speakers sharing their Good News with the community.


Our chair of residents Pauline opened the meeting by thanking everyone for coming and also our hosts at Emmanuel Church for their continuing support.


First speaker was Richard, leader of the Fleetwood 16th Scouts group. He said the group was doing well, numbers were up including the newly formed Squirrels section for ages 4 to 6 years and in fact, scouting across Wyre was proving very popular. The young people, boys and girls, were enjoying all the activities, trips and camps and looking forward to an international event in August.


David mentioned that Healthier Fleetwood was launching the ‘Community Connectors’ a network of local residents sharing information on groups and events to their family, friends, workmates, especially with those not on social media. Posters for community events would also be available to display through shops, schools, clubs, churches and more.

> Anyone wanting to be involved should email listening@healthierfleetwood.co.uk


Pauline announced that Healthier Fleetwood will also be opening a new Information Centre on Lord Street from Tuesday 20th February. Work is underway preparing the premises and updates will be issued over the next 2 weeks.


A questionnaire was distributed from the Fleetwood Wellbeing Way. The volunteers behind the initiative are asking for suggestions of challenges for the future and also feedback on how people support their own health and wellbeing.

> You can see the questionnaire here - download it and return a completed copy to fleetwoodwellbeingway@gmail.com or email them directly with your suggestions.


Adam is working to support Armed Forces Veterans. The Blue Light Bimble & Brew group brings together veterans and emergency services personnel for social interaction and to exchange ideas – they meet at Wetherspoons in Fleetwood on Thursdays from 10.30am to noon for breakfast, brews and chat. Adam and his colleagues recently visited Parliament to meet MPs and campaign for a better welfare programme. They have been invited back to continue the conversation and have also received an encouraging letter from the Minister for Veterans Affairs. All of this is a great example of Fleetwood residents and the Fleetwood community taking a lead role on national issues.


Kate works in the Community Team at Wyre Council and brought along copies of the 2024 Great Outdoors guide, packed with things to do across Wyre including walks, bike rides, beach cleans, conservation events and much more. Many of the activities are hosted by volunteers and more help is appreciated, especially for some of the social walks and at Rossall Observation Tower.


Rachel, Wyre Community Engagement Officer for The Bay: A Blueprint for Recovery has a busy programme of family-friendly events coming up including ‘A Walk with Dorothy Wordsworth’ for International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March and an Easter Egg Hunt with a difference!


Pat wanted to thank John from Emmanuel Church for organising an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic events in Morecambe Bay when 21 Chinese cockle-pickers lost their lives. Last week members of the church and others held a vigil on the beach before letting off approved lanterns.


John was pleased to say that the refurbishment of the church was progressing well and we could see the improved Community Hall with a new kitchen/servery, toilets and additional, smaller meeting rooms. Next phase of the works was The Sanctuary.


Pat also runs the Young @ Heart social group for ages 65 and over, meeting at Fleetwood Library on Tuesdays, 10am to noon. Anyone 'slightly' younger is welcome to attend too for the games, activities and social trips.


Maxine and her friends organised the successful Carols Singalong on Christmas Eve with around 300 people enjoying the community spirit and seasonal refreshments. They are now planning another free, family event on Saturday 4th May and will be inviting local businesses to support with sponsorship. Community groups are also invited to be involved by hosting activities on the day.

> Contact Maxine on 07736 394977 if you can help


It has also been announced that Fleetwood Day (heritage-themed activities, live music and more) will take place on Sunday 5th May. The committees of both events will be working together to make it a fantastic weekend for Fleetwood.


Brian reminded us to submit entries for the 2024 Linda Eaton Arts & Crafts Awards. The theme is the ‘Time of your Life’ and you can use any medium for your work. The awards presentation is in October.

> We have more details at Healthier Fleetwood and can put you in touch with Brian.


Those who attended the Men’s Shed Fleetwood Christmas Day dinner appreciated the relaxed, friendly atmosphere and being among friends. The Thursday Lunch Club continues to be popular but volunteers are needed to help cook and prepare the hot meal. Other groups are doing well and Rob told us how valuable the drugs and alcohol support session was to its members.


Westview Community Association offer a number of groups and events for all ages. They are launching a new ‘Supper Club’ for ages 25 to 50 years – a mix of socialising and also discussing health and wellbeing issues with invited guest speakers from the NHS. The Friday Night youth club is very popular – pool, video games and refreshments. There’s also a shout-out for Prom dresses and suits – they can be dropped off at the Centre. It was suggested that people could offer cars too, for a special journey to the Prom.


Karen from was delighted with the response to the Joy Fest last month. After raising £11k (through Crowdfund Lancashire) the event was a free, family fun day based around the Five Ways of Wellbeing and included circus skills, arts & crafts, music and much more. Around 500 people attended during the day, everyone had a great time and Karen is planning something even bigger next year!

> Follow Jars of Joy on Facebook and on X (formerly Twitter)


Karen also mentioned she hoped the event would be short-listed for the upcoming Coastal Radio Awards. Our best wishes to all the Fleetwood-based groups and events who may be involved in the awards.


Amanda from Lancashire County Council has supported many of the local groups and events including Joy Fest and is now working with West View. She also sits on the panel funding warm hubs across the County, many of which are in Fleetwood.


Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs is hoping for a good year after the disruption of 2023 due to water pollution and beach closures. Reece is out and about collecting donations, supported by local Co Op stores and will be taking on a 100-mile challenge from his wheelchair in March.


Scott, attending his first meeting was thrilled to be part of such a vibrant and caring group. While coping with his own health issues he has established Trust in the Community CIC (community interest company) to deliver a number of projects focussing on wellbeing and food education. He welcomes connections with individuals and organisations.


Friendlier Fleetwood’s tea & talks are always popular and Fran told us the group is also looking forward to two holiday trips later this year. Meetings are Mondays/Saturdays at the Library, and Tuesday/Fridays at YMCA Lofthouse Building, London St, 1pm to 3pm.


The Wyre Wednesday social group at The Strawberry Gardens is going well too. No need to book, just pop along and say hello. Organiser Shaz has also set up a Graves Disease Meet-Up Group, at the same venue, and Dr Spencer recently attended to give advice and information. Meetings are on the last Wednesday of each month.


Elaine works in the Children & Family Wellbeing Service and wanted to find out more about what’s happening in the local community and to build partnerships. Personally, she also offers wellbeing sessions from Relax & Remind on Lord Street.

> We can put you in touch with Elaine


Behind Closed Doors has been supporting those affected by domestic violence for two years. Mandy said they can signpost to other organisations as appropriate and host a ‘coffee & compassion’ session – details are available on request. There’s a number of fundraising events coming up including an event in March at The Queens pub - working towards the group having their own premises.


Pauline suggested that, if they can, anyone coming to the next Open Meeting on March 6th, bring an Easter Egg for the Behind Closed Doors appeal.


Kate from Behind Closed Doors is also a keen member of the Fleetwood Old Boys Band and invited new members to join. All levels of experience are welcome – you can play in the band or enjoy the social side.


Beth is a university student and also works with LPM Dance on their inclusive groups. They want to do more, in particular the return of the Parkinson’s dance session and more inter-generational activities. Beth is hosting a FREE 5-week Community Dance Class at Fleetwood Methodist Church from the end of February and will be supporting LPM for their Fleetwood Dance Festival in the Summer - details tbc.


Fleetwood Social Prescriber Wendy was joined by a new colleague Emma who is looking forward to her new role, helping individuals to find groups and activities in the community for their health and wellbeing.

> Contact the Social Prescribers through a Fleetwood GP surgery or call 01253 958493.


Kelly and Julie were also attending their first meetings. As ‘Coach and Shine’, Kelly offers workshops and support to make positive changes towards “being a better you”. She is starting a new session at Strive, the community café at Flakefleet Primary and works within schools on programmes for children and young people. Kelly would like to partner with other local organisations and venues to look at new ideas.


Julie hosts a women’s alcohol-free group in Carleton and would like to bring something similar to Fleetwood. She can advocate the health and wellbeing benefits of this choice and would like to hear from any venues which may be able to help.

> We can put you in touch with Julie


Jackie Brunton is part of the End-of-Life team at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and updated us on the formation of Fleetwood’s Compassionate Community. As part of a Fylde Coast initiative, this is about having conversations, sharing practical information and emotional support around death and grieving. A recent awareness session in Fleetwood was well-attended and more events are being planned.


Susan had some great news about the Wyre Flounders adult swimming club. Thanks to a connection made by one of the members, the club will be receiving a sponsorship from Glasdons (Blackpool) that can support them for the next 3 years. The Flounders meet on Saturday evenings at YMCA for an adult-only session, ideal for anyone with anxiety or recovering from illness/injury. A fee is still payable to ensure the group can continue for many more years to come.

> Contact Susan on 01253 522232


Donna works for Calico and through their Calico Connect sessions they support adults who may be isolated or with mild mental health conditions. It’s all about getting together for fun and for practical advice. A weekly group is held at Farmer Parrs, Tuesdays from 10am to 12 noon.


Pauline reminded us that the Harmony & Health singing for wellbeing group meet every Tuesday – Little Thornton Theatre at 10.30am and Marine Hall at 1.30pm.

> See Harmony & Health Chat on Facebook or call Shirley on 07940 030925 for info


Ivor asked for support to set up a Prostate Cancer Group in Fleetwood, so members didn’t need to travel to the existing session at Blackpool Vic. He said the recent good work by Fleetwood Town FC, Fleetwood Town Community Trust and the Fleetwood Town Flyers Walking Football Club had raised awareness of Prostate Cancer but more could be done.

> We can put you in touch with Ivor if you can help with a new group


Jules from Fitness 50 was delighted to say that the Cancer Pre-hab & Re-hab sessions would continue for another 2 years, thanks to support from Fleetwood Town Community Trust. These are held at Fleetwood Methodist Church on Monday/Thursday afternoons. Also, her new Retro Ravers, dance and fitness class is already very popular.


Richard has written a book telling the story of his mental health journey and he wanted to pass copies onto schools and community groups, to share what he’d learned and support others who may be going through similar challenges.

> Please contact Healthier Fleetwood and we can connect you with Richard.


And last but not least, local poet Anne read her latest work which took an unusual look at Valentine’s Day!

Pauline closed the main part of the meeting although the conversations and connections continued for some time after.


It was a wonderful, inspiring evening and we look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at the next Open Meeting, Wednesday 6th March, 6.30pm at Emmanuel Church

... you are all very welcome!


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