Jim & Pat Dobbin with Catherine Marshall and Carl Roach at
April 2008 Lunch Presentation

Lighthouse to shine on Middleton

8th May 2008
The gloom around Middleton could be brightened thanks to a new shining light in the town.

Social Enterprise Inspire Middleton – set up by church elder Carl Roach – is working to bring a Lighthouse Project to the area. This creative idea would provide a welcoming and encouraging environment for people along with free support and services. Since 1998, Lighthouse centres have offered both vocational and non-vocational training across the UK.

The project was showcased at a consultation event at the Upper Rooms in Middleton Gardens, and event attended by Jim Dobbin MP, several councillors and a cross-section of organisations and businesses. The presentation focussed on the benefits the Lighthouse Project has already brought to the lives of over 8,500 individuals in the Sandwell area of the West Midlands.

Catherine Marshall, chief executive of the Lighthouse Project, is currently preparing to visit 50 lighthouses around the country as part of a challenge to raise £100,000 for their next centre.

She said that she was greatly encouraged by the feedback from the presentation and the passion that Carl Roach and the Inspire Middleton team have shown in wanting to make a difference in the lives of those who find it difficult to help themselves.

She added: “When we arrived in the town we immediately felt welcomed and at home, there are lots of similarities between Middleton and Sandwell where we live. This would be a great place to work.”

Mr Roach, 46, of Aylesbury Grove, Boarshaw, said he hoped to make Middleton part of the Lighthouse family.”

He added: “As the Lighthouse Project accepts everyone regardless of age, gender, race, culture, religion, life style or any other factor; the selection of support they provide ranges in order to tailor the needs of individuals within our local and surrounding communities and provide them with the advice, help, encouragement or care they require.”

If you are interested to find out more about what the Lighthouse would do for Middleton then please contact Carl Roach, 18 Aylesbury Grove, Middleton, Manchester, or via www.inspiremiddleton.org.uk

By Dan Thompson – Middleton & North Manchester Guardian Thursday 8th May 2008