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Thursday, 10 July 2014

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New community resource centre opens in Carlisle

A £3 million resource centre that aims to inspire and support vulnerable residents has opened in Carlisle.

Shaddongate centre photo
Nicola Morning, front, whose artwork adorns the wall behind, with other art and design students at the opening

The Shaddongate community resource centre will provide training, advice and support sessions, as well as a hub for the local community.

Situated next to the John Street Hostel, on the edge of Caldewgate, the homeless will be a particular focus.

The project has been led by Carlisle City Council, working alongside many other groups and organisations.

It is just one of a number of initiatives ongoing in the city to help disadvantaged and vulnerable residents.

The News & Star revealed this week that almost one in three children in some parts of Carlisle are living in poverty, with those in Botcherby and Upperby worst affected. Yet in more affluent areas, such as Stanwix Urban, as few as four per cent of children are classed as living in poverty.

It was therefore appropriate that the issue was among the first to be discussed following the opening of the new resource centre on Monday.

The ribbon was cut during the launch of Carlisle Healthy City Week, which kicked off with a conference looking at what can be done to tackle child poverty city-wide.

The new centre will also focus on helping other groups, such as the homeless.

Speaking at the opening, Carlisle mayor David Wilson said: “Life is quite difficult for a lot of people but I think this centre is going to be a great asset for the community.”

Council leader Joe Hendry added: “It’s very appropriate that it’s being launched in Healthy City Week. I’d like to thank and recognise everyone involved.

“We all know that we live in very difficult times. It is, nevertheless, a sign of a caring and civilised society that we care for the most vulnerable.

“My fear is the changes to housing and welfare benefits that are looming will make demand for this service even greater than they are already.”

Carlisle YMCA will manage the new resource centre on behalf of the authority.

Tim Linford, from the organisation, said it is already enabling them to extend the services that they offer.

Also at the opening were art and design students from Carlisle College, who have created art work to display at the centre.

The group, who are in their second year on the National Extended Diploma course, have been working on the pieces since February.

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