Caritas Care staff and visitors at Plungington Community Centre were delighted to welcome Councillor Nweeda Khan to the centre on Monday the 24th February 2020. Her visit coincided with Age Concern’s weekly seated exercise class, and many participants were pleased to see her at the centre.
Councillor Khan is well known to the visitors of the community centre and in the wider Plungington area community. She has been instrumental in supporting the centre and the community around it. In an innovative extension of the centre’s work, to combat poverty and provide help for people who are experiencing hardship, Councillor Khan started the Plungington holiday food share scheme in partnership with Caritas Care and local volunteers last year.
Food share schemes such as this allow people on lower incomes to access extra food needed by families, particularly during holiday periods. In response to high demand amongst the local residents of Plungington, this scheme now runs weekly with the New You group who operate a food club open to all every Friday.
Ben Clayton, Plungington Community Centre Manager said:
“It was really great to see Counsellor Khan at the centre once again to continue to support the centre and people of Plungington, she is a firm favourite with residents and always stays longer than she intends as people often want to share problems or ask for updates of developments in the area.
“The centre is a hub for local people and her support makes us more effective in delivering the best for local people.
Councillor Khan recognises the importance of having a community hub like Plungington Community Centre. It provides a range of services; supporting people with their everyday life and struggles, through to the hosting of regular entertainment events and exercise classes. The Centre has become a vital facility to the local people she serves.
Councillor Nweeda Khan, Cabinet Member for Communities and Social Justice at Preston City Council, said:
“As a Councillor for this ward I have seen first-hand how essential the Plungington Community Centre is for the local community.
“On top of exercise classes and entertainment, the centre works with people living with alcohol and substance misuse issues to provide them with guidance, support and volunteering opportunities.
“The centre also engages with diverse communities, including refugees, supporting them to access services in the area which plays a key role in helping them integrate into the area.
“I’ve also had the privilege to be involved with the food club which provides local families with vital access to fresh food and advice on the benefits of nutrition and healthy lifestyles.”
Councillor Khan is also an important figure at the monthly Police and Community Together (PACT) meetings held on the first Tuesday of every month at 6.30pm. These meetings are a very important part of the centre’s work, giving local people the opportunity to raise problems directly with their elected members.
Susan Swarbrick, Chief Executive Officer, Caritas Care said:
“We would like to express our sincere thanks to Councillor Khan for her on-going support and interest in our vibrant community centre. She is a regular visitor to the centre and her enthusiasm for our work is encouraging.
“We have worked well together and hope that more new initiatives and services will available to the community in the future thanks to the generosity and support of Councillor Khan and Preston City Council.
Pictured L-R: Ben Clayton, Plungington Community Centre Manager; Councillor Nweeda Khan; Hazel Critchley, Community Centre Worker; Emma Worden, Café Emmanuel; Susan Swarbrick, Chief Executive Officer, Caritas Care