Friday, 22 July 2011

Fresh Blood Wanted

During National Blood Week last month, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT ) issued a call for 10,000 people across England and North Wales to make a date to donate, after new data showed there had been a 20 per cent drop in young regular donors over the last decade raising concerns for the stability of blood stocks in the future.

Despite a significant increase in the number of new registrations among young people in the North West, among existing donor, 40-54 year olds are still responsible for giving the most blood. From 13 to the 26 June, 3,978 existing donors aged 40-54 made appointments to donate, compared to 2,058 from the 17–29 age bracket.

Saimina Virmani from Blackburn is just one of the many people whose life has been saved thanks to people donating blood. Saimina has been a vocal supporter of blood donation following a difficult labour, during which she had to undergo several blood transfusions.

She said "I lost so much blood during my labour that I was only able to hold my daughter Eliza for about 60 seconds before I was rushed into the operating theatre where I was given two pints of blood. Put simply, if I had not had the transfusions, I would have died.

"Giving blood is one of the most altruistic things a person can do. Each pint of blood could potentially save the lives of the three adults or seven babies. Donated blood is needed every three seconds and it only takes a few minutes of your time to give blood."

Barbara Blanche, NHSBT Lead Donor Relation Manager, North West comments: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s response to our National Blood Week campaign and would like to thank all of the first time and regular donors in the North West who made a ‘date to donate’, a simple act that will help to save and improve many lives.
“However, to maintain national blood stocks, we need over 177,000 donations and 24,000 new donors every year in the North West alone - and there is a lack of regular young donors. We therefore urge the younger generation to make a date to donate and become life savers of the future.”

There are daily blood donor clinics (by appointment) at the RLI and regular sessions around the area.
For more information about blood donation or to make an appointment visit, or call 0300 123 2323.
You can also follow NHSBT at or

Anti-social behaviour falls by 10 per cent across Lancashire

Anti-social behaviour has fallen by 10 per cent across the county according to national statistics released this week.

This means 14,087 less victims from April 2010 – March 2011 when compared to the previous year.

Of course, with impending cuts to police services, it remains to be seen if this downward trend can be maintained, but Lancashire Constabulary has welcomed the figures, praising partner agencies and members of the local community for working with them to address anti-social behaviour.

It has also acknowledged that there is still a lot of work to do.

“Anti-social behaviour takes many forms from rowdy and noisy behaviour in local neighbourhoods to graffiti or fly tipping and violent and threatening behaviour," notes Chief Superintendant Stuart Williams. “The one thing all of this has in common though, is that it causes residents a great deal of concern and it makes them feel less safe.

“That’s why, here in Lancashire, the police and other partner agencies are putting significant resources into tackling the issue, and making sure victims, particularly vulnerable victims and repeat victims, get the right help and support.

“We have dedicated neighbourhood officers across the county, we regularly use enforcement activity like ASBOs, Closure Orders and arrest, and we work closely with local partner agencies to prevent anti-social behaviour and, where it does happen, find longer term solutions to problems at specific locations or with particular individuals.

“This is all clearly having a positive effect, but we are not complacent and realise that there is more to do.

“Working with partners across the county, and with local communities, it is our firm intention to encourage reporting and to continue to drive down anti-social behaviour still further.”

• Anyone concerned or wanting help with anti-social behaviour can contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 0845 1 25 35 45. Help and advice can be found on

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Walk the Bay for Cancer Research

KidsCan Children’s Cancer Research Centre have a forthcoming Morecambe Bay Walk on Sunday 7th August.

The organisers tell us it's an event for all the family – even the dog! There is a fee of £10 per person for the eight mile walk but this includes the coach fare to take you round to Arnside from Kents Bank.

Everyone taking part must meet at Kents Bank at 9.45am for the coach. "We're asking everyone to arrive at Kents Bank for 9.30 to get the bus round to Arnside to then walk back to Kents Bank," explain the organisers, "and therefore back to their cars etc.

"Of course, if people are already in Arnside then they can meet us there but it will mean that they will then have to make their own way back to Arnside after walking to Kents Bank."

The walk will start from Arnside at about 10.15, based on how long it will take to get from Kents Bank to Arnside with various buses.

KidsCan Children’s Cancer Research Centre was established in late 2002 to specifically support research into new and improved treatments for children with cancer. Our scientists are looking for treatments which are less damaging to the bodies of children and young adults. They aim to reduce both short and long term side effects whilst retaining the effectiveness of many current treatments.

• If you would like to take part in the Morecambe Bay Walk click here to register.

• If you would like a preview of what you’re letting yourself in for, check out the pictures from last year’s event on the KidsCan website.

• Check out the Kidscan web site at:

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Calling all Freemen & Freewomen to register for historic ballot.

Lancaster City Council is attempting to contact as many Freemen as possible in order to prepare for a ballot that might make some further historic changes to the criteria for the admission of Freemen and Freewomen.

The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 has made provision for any reference to the admission of the son of a Freeman to be amended immediately to allow the daughters of Freemen and Freewomen to be admitted also. The Court held on July 9 saw the first six women being admitted as Freewomen this year.

Lancaster, however, has three other admission criteria for Freemen which at present are only available to men.
* To have served an apprenticeship to a Freeman or Freewoman for a period of seven consecutive years
* To be a native of the City (having been born within the old City boundaries)
* To have been a resident within the old City boundaries for a period of seven consecutive years.

These criteria are set out in the County of Lancashire Act 1984, and by virtue of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, may only be amended to include women by a specific statutory procedure, which involves the making of a “qualifying resolution” which has to be approved by a ballot.

The city council has to first identify as many living Freemen and Freewomen as possible, and update their contact details, so that they can be balloted on whether to make the necessary changes to allow both men and women to be admitted in these categories.

Once a database of names and addresses of the current roll of Freemen and Freewomen has been identified, discussions will be held with a view to three being asked to propose a qualifying resolution.

A “qualifying resolution” is one that is proposed by three or more “eligible persons”, (the eligible persons being the Freemen themselves). It then has to be passed by a majority of the eligible people voting on the resolution, provided that at least 10% of those to whom notice is sent actually vote. An eligible person is a person whose name is on the roll of people admitted to the freedom of the city.

In order to make the amendments final, if the result of the ballot is found to be in favour, an order of the Secretary of State will be required to amend the County of Lancashire Act 1984, in order to implement the resolution.

Freemen and Freewomen who wish to be balloted are asked to contact the Mayor’s Office, Town Hall, Lancaster, LA1 1PJ providing details of their admission date and the address at which they were admitted, together with current contact details.

The deadline for replies is 31 August 2011, after which date further details will be sent out to any of those who have registered an interest in being balloted.
Freemen who currently receive Marsh Grass payments have automatically been added to the database.

Image: The new Freemen and Freewomen of the City who were admitted on July 9 2011.
Back Row
Wendy Newbery, Chief Executive Mark Cullinan, Kerry Mason, Deborah Mason, Lisa Vines, Scott Preston
Front Row
Roger Sherlock, Ellen Brockbank, Mayor of Lancaster Coun Paul Woodruff, Mayoress Dee Wodruff, Julie Taylor

See also:
Lancaster Freewomen are on the Roll
Council to invite applications for Freewomen of the City

Morecambe flying high as a kite this festival weekend

Morecambe is looking forward to a weekend of fun and excitement with the forthcoming West End Festival at Regent Park on Saturday July 23rd and Catch the Wind, Morecambe’s fabulous annual kite festival, now in its 9th year on Sunday 24th July. This well established weekend is a highlight of Morecambe’s summer season for local people and for visitors, a feast of delights; music, dance, food and - kites.

Organised by More Music and in partnership with local agencies The West End Festival provides a great opportunity for groups and charities to promote their activities and is also a showcase for the best of home grown talent.

There will be a variety of stalls from the local allotment association displaying and selling produce, to the Winter Gardens who will be publicising their campaign and running a tombola with many great prizes. There will be the chance to sample Polish food at a stall run by the NCBI and pancakes from festival favourite Steve. As well as the stalls there will plenty to see and do, games with the City Council’s Play Rangers, story telling with the library service who will also be running a bounce and rhyme session for small children, arts and crafts activities, badge making, face painting and a giant bouncy slide!

Then there’s the music, this year there will be two stages one of which will be programmed and managed by young people from More Music’ Stages project and will feature a full afternoon of emerging talent that covers the musical spectrum.

On the other stage the Lune Valley Voices, Orbit, The Baines Ukulele Orchestra (from Baines High School in Poulton-le-Fylde) and the 2011 version of Baybeat are just a few of the highlights of a very busy afternoon. Additional attractions include birds of prey, demonstrations by Regent Park Studios and a fantastic dance display by festival regulars Happy Feet.

On the Sunday the action moves to the promenade and to the Platform for a fantastic afternoon of music, magic and kite flying. Once more the sky over Morecambe’s lovely bay will be awash with kites of all shapes and sizes while the Platform and the surrounding area will buzz with activities; come and paint your own bird house, create sand art, have your face painted, make a windsock, make a kite, buy a kite, fly a kite or simply sit in the sun and enjoy the entertainment provided by a host of fantastic performers and musicians!

Alternatively there is the chance to take tea in the Midland Hotel and listen to Boogie Bill who will be dazzling audiences with his amazing piano playing.

Returning this year is the star prize raffle with prizes donated by The Midland Hotel and other local organisations. Tickets are 50p each with money going towards the costs of the festival. Prizes include a luxury stay at an English Lakes Hotel, dinner for two at the Midland Hotel, tickets for The Dukes Christmas show, the BFG, and a beautiful Chas Jacob’s print “Catch the Breeze” donated by the artist. To buy raffle tickets, and find out more about Catch The Wind Kite Festival drop in to More Music on 13- 17 Devonshire Road, Morecambe, or call 01524 831997. Information is also available on the website at

Catch the Wind is supported by Morecambe Town Council, Lancaster City Council and the LSP Community Grant Scheme and sponsored by The Midland Hotel.

More Music is a community music organisation based in the West End of Morecambe offering classes, events and musical opportunities for people of all ages.

Lancaster's Novel Cafe hosts Back & Beyond fund raiser

Lancaster's newest cafe will be hosting an evening celebrating the prose form to raise funds for Issue 2 of Lancaster's newest arts project, Back&Beyond.

The Novel Cafe, in New Street, will play host to an evening of prose, long and short, performed by actors and with an informal prose forum.

On the bill are local creatives Brindley Hallam Dennis, Steve Longstaffe, Sarah Schofield, Angela Martin, Katherine Jane Learmonth, Eliza Mood, Simon Baker, and Hendryk Korzeniowski.

"It's our first bi-monthly event to raise money for Back&Beyond's printing costs," explains Back&Beyond edtor Mollie Baxter. "Copies of Issue 1 will be available free on the night."

Back&Beyond is a new publication that celebrates and promotes the arts, culture and heritage in Lancaster, Morecambe and beyond. It combines fiction and non-fiction writing together with profiles of local artists, projects and organisations.

"Through Back&Beyond we aim to make people more aware of the enormous wealth of creativity, cultural capital and heritage in the area," enthuses Mollie, "to bring new and established work to light, and to help local artists and practitioners to promote their craft and to reach a wider audience.

"We hope that the launch of our first edition will be the springboard to establishing a regular publication for the arts an culture in the area.

"Please come along to show your support not only for Back&Beyond, but also the prose form"

Mollie feels it's a prose performance and promotion is under threat from a lack of public exposure as both arts bodies and broadcasters scale back their budgets. "Another blow comes with the announcement that Radio 4 is going to cut short stories from three to one a week," she notes.

• The Story Forum: 6.00pm - 8.30pm, Tuesday 26th July 2011, The Novel Cafe, New Street, Lancaster. £5 or £4 unwaged. Doors open at 6pm. Show starts at 6.30pm. More info:

Download the first issue of Back&Beyond from the official web site

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Shape up for summer at Salt Ayre

If you've just returned from your summer holidays and the photos of you on the beach are making you think that you need to lose a few pounds then help is at hand.

Salt Ayre Sport Centre is offering a special rate to get you fit and healthy by the end of summer. Join ‘Shape up in summer’ and you can enjoy 30 days of fitness for only £25. This great promotion offers access to the state of the art gym, the swimming pool, running track and your choice of over 40 free fitness classes.

This comes along with the usual benefits of free parking, on site café and full use of the relaxation and sauna areas.

The offer is only available until 31st August - so call Salt Ayre Sports Centre now to make your first appointment on 01524 847540 and start on your way to shape up by the end of summer.

• For more information contact Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Doris Henderson Way, Salt Ayre Lane, Lancaster. Or email or visit

Lancaster athletes head for Youth Games in Denmark

Image courtesy Lancaster City Council
A group of young people will be jetting off to Denmark on next month to take part in an annual festival of sport and culture.

The 2011 International Youth Games will be held in Aalborg from 2 – 7 August and will see a group of over 50 young people aged between 13 and 15 representing their clubs, schools, town and country at the games.

Representatives from most of the local high schools will be competing in a mix of sports and the arts including athletics, badminton, golf, swimming, table tennis, tennis, music and dance. There are also young people from local special schools taking part for the first time in a multi sport event.

Among the athletes are eleven students from Ripley St. Thomas and the Lancaster Royal Grammar School Boat Club, who reintroduced a rowing element to the games by competing last year.

They will be competing against youngsters of a similar age from Lancaster's twin and friendship towns Almere (Holland), Vaxjo (Sweden), Rendsburg (Germany) and Aalborg  (Denmark). In total more than 1,000 young people will be taking part from 30 countries including Russia, USA and China.

Last year, the team representing Lancaster in the International Youth Games returned with a total of 66 medals (33 gold, 18 silver and 15 bronze).

“The International Youth Games have been taking place now for well over 20 years and are an excellent way for our young people to show off their sporting prowess," says Coun Ron Sands, cabinet member with responsibility for children and young people. "They are also a great way for them to meet new people and learn about different cultures.”

Lancaster’s involvement in the International Youth Games is organised by Lancaster City Council with valuable support from local sports clubs and community organisations including the volunteer leaders,  without whom the opportunity to take part would not exist.

• Daily updates will be posted on the council’s website during the games including photos from the events so if you’re interested in knowing how the team is getting on visit

Monday, 18 July 2011

‘Aladdin’s cave’ of stolen garden items seized in Heysham

Police are offering victims the chance to reclaim their stolen property from an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of items recovered during a raid.

The statues, ornaments, plant pots, plinths, benches and other garden items were seized following the execution of a theft warrant at Mellishaw Caravan Park in Morecambe by the police planned response team last week.

A 36-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of theft by finding and has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

The operation was carried out following an investigation into the theft of a golden boy statue, which has since been returned to its owner.

Officers have now released photos of items confiscated during the raid in the hope that they may be recognised by those who rightfully own them.

PC Ben Hanley, Lancaster Police, said: “If someone recognises an item that they believe to be theirs then they should get in touch with us and we will seek proof that it is theirs before it is returned.

“It is a good idea for people who have valuable items in their gardens to take photos of them and also mark them with their postcode so if they are unfortunately stolen but then recovered, officers have a way of finding out who owns them.”

To help keep valuable items in gardens, sheds and garages safe, home owners are also advised to -

  • Put away all tools and equipment when they are finished with.
  • Use a strong padlock to secure sheds and outbuildings.
  • Lock garages when they are not in use.
  • Keep shrubs, hedges and large plants cut back.
  • Keep boundary fences, walls and gates in good repair.
  • Keep an eye on your neighbour's property and encourage them to do the same for you.
• If you recognise an item from those pictured below, contact PC Hanley via 0845 15 25 35 45.

Soap Stars back at the Globe Arena for annual football challenge

actor_ralph_little.jpgMorecambe FC’s Globe Arena is hosting the seventh annual soap stars football match organised by Heysham power stations to raise money for a number of charities this coming Sunday (24th July).

This will be the first game played at Morecambe’s new ground and will feature the All Stars team that includes Ralf Little (pictured), Ryan Thomas, Alaso Halsal, Ricky Whittle and Dannt Miller in its ranks.

More famous faces will confirm nearer to the kick off.

Samuel Aston, who plays Chesney in Coronation Street, is also in the line-up. He made a guest appearance at last year’s at Barrow when a crowd of 2000 saw the All Stars clock up their sixth consecutive victory against the Bay Radio XI, which is made up of the power station’s finest.

“We had a great welcome in Barrow last year, but we are looking forward to playing in Morecambe again," says Mike Grimmitt of Heysham 2 power station which organises the event. “Having spoken to the All Stars team, I know they enjoy this match very much as the crowd is always great and they are looking forward to playing at The Globe too.”

Paralympics GB and CancerCare are set to benefit from the day as every penny raised will go them, which is being sponsored by several local companies.

Matt Dimbylon played in the GB football side at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and is hoping to play in London 2012.

“Football within the Paralympics movement is not as high profile as say athletics or swimming, but we will be in with a chance of medals in 2012," said Matt, "if we carry on working hard and also finding other new players to improve the squad.”

“This event is now into its seventh year and with Bay Radio’s support we have seen crowds of 2-3,000 at Christie Park and we’d love to get 4,000 at The Globe," adds Mike.

“It’s a great day out, the celebrities are so generous with their time, playing for free, and posing for pictures and signing autographs. So it has to be a must-see for every soap and TV fan.”

David Durnford, the owner of Smallworld Cable business, who is one of the event’s sponsors said: "This promises to be nail biting viewing and what better way is there to raise money for local charities than by watching the world's most beautiful game whilst doing a bit of star spotting.”

The final line-up to the Soap Stars team will be announced before kick-off, but the crowd will be guaranteed a grandstand view of their TV favourites.

• Gates open at The Globe at 12 noon, with the game kicking off at 1pm. Admission at the turnstiles for the day is £5 for adults and £3 for children and £12 for a family.