£340,000 project boost for Weighton

Life centre''Mandy Cooper, Frank Mason, Alex Appiah, Ben Crawford'Ann Mason, Wayne Foxhall
Life centre''Mandy Cooper, Frank Mason, Alex Appiah, Ben Crawford'Ann Mason, Wayne Foxhall

A PROJECT worth £340,000, and aimed at helping people in Market Weighton, is set to be launched this weekend.

The Lottery-funded initiative, which will be launched at The Life Centre, will provide skills, training and better job prospects, support young people and even look to reduce isolation among older adults.

Named “The Heart of Community Living”, it has been backed by a three-year Reaching Communities grant from the Big Lottery Fund, and will see five extra people employed, four part-time and one full-time.

Run by Living Springs Ministries, the project is based at their premises on High Street, above Netto, and will work in partnership with other local and statutory organisations to address the needs in the area.

The funding will help the centre continue activities, which have been running at the venue for youngsters at risk of exclusion, for a further three years, as well as developing new areas.

The activities being offered will include a weekly job club, computer training, various exercise classes, art classes, new healthy eating workshops and the use of three allotments at the new Holme Road site, in addition to The Life Centre’s existing youth club.

The centre manager, Dr Alex Appiah, is excited about the future. He said: “We have a great opportunity to provide the people of the Western Wolds with facilities and activities which encourage local participation, community building and a welcoming place for young people to come. With our newly-assembled team, we have increased the range of activities for residents and invested in a brand new 16-computer IT suite to add to the facilities.

“We’d be delighted to welcome everyone to look around and share in the celebrations.”

Ben Crawforth, the new community development officer, said: “One of our biggest early projects will be to cultivate the three allotments we have taken on at Holme Road, to provide produce for our healthy-eating workshops. We’re looking for lots of volunteers to help us.”

The launch of the new project will be held from 10am this Saturday, 21 May. The official opening ceremony will take place at 11am and will feature local civic dignitaries including East Riding of Yorkshire Council leader, Councillor Stephen Parnaby, and chief executive Nigel Pearson. The ribbon-cutting will be performed by the Mayor of Market Weighton, Peter Hemmerman.

The Life Centre was opened as a community resource in 2009 and continues to offer help to local people including learning basic computer skills, genealogy studies, searching for jobs and filling in online application forms.