Grand Garden Party to celebrate community centre makeover

Mill Bank Wellbeing Centre

A Grand Garden Party will be held at a supported housing service for young parents in Preston on Friday (4 November).

Mill Bank Wellbeing Centre, which is owned and run by Places for People Living+, will play host to over 100 guests at a celebratory Mad Hatters Tea Party themed event to mark the completion of a £120,000 makeover.

Guests, including residents and former residents, council members and families from the local area, are welcomed for an afternoon of fun for all the family. Activities will include: a children's entertainer, a Punch and Judy show, and a football skills event on the new all-weather pitch.

The garden has recently been refurbished by Barton Grange Garden Centre. Doubling in size, it has seen the addition of dedicated football and basketball facilities, an imaginative play area where children can build dens, toddler-sized play equipment and vegetable patches where residents can grow their own produce.

Eileen McSweeney manages Mill Bank Wellbeing Centre

"Mill Bank has undergone such a huge transformation over the last few months and we can't wait to be able to show off the fantastic work which goes on here.

"The completion of the garden has been a significant milestone as it has provided a much-needed safe and peaceful environment for the young parents and their children to enjoy relaxing and playing in. The residents are already seeing the fruits of their labour, and have enjoyed being able to cook healthy and affordable meals using home-grown vegetables."

The garden makeover follows renovation to the centre's interior which was carried out by Places for People and contractors Keepmoat and Novus Property Solutions in the summer. Visitors on Friday will be able to take a tour of the new facilities, which include a wellbeing room, IT suite and a library.

Formerly Mill Bank Court, the centre has recently been renamed to better reflect the person-centred approach it offers to both the families who live there, and members of the wider community. Residents are not only provided with a roof over their head, but are offered one-to-one therapy and advice sessions, can take part in a range of wellbeing activities and are given opportunities to gain new skills and progress into work and education.

In addition to providing supported accommodation for the 50 families it houses each year, Mill Bank Wellbeing Centre also offers vital support to people in the local area. This includes access to education and employment, training in vital life skills such as budgeting and IT, sexual health advice and help with drug and alcohol addiction.

Eileen McSweeney

"It's such a privilege to be able to help the families we work with to build the skills needed for them to move on to permanent housing. We're really looking forward to catching up with some of our former residents at the garden party. It's always a pleasure to be able to see first-hand how their lives have improved."

The Grand Garden Party will run from 11:30am - 3:30pm at Mill Bank Wellbeing Centre, Edmund Street, Preston, PR1 1ED. 

02 November 2016