Vincents supports St Annes church fundraiser

Lytham team gears up to help Trinity Hospice and the Community Hub

Businesses across Lytham and St Annes are backing an epic fundraiser by the Church Road Methodist Church. Nine intrepid cyclists and their four-strong support crew are taking on a 400-mile challenge in July, raising money for both Trinity Hospice and a new Community Hub project based at the church.

Led by Reverend Stephen Heath, who will be part of the support crew, all are members or friends of the Church Road Methodist Church. The Six Counties Bike Ride will set off from the church at 8am on Thursday July 12 and ride 400 miles via Carlisle, Durham, York and Leeds, returning to the Dalmeny Hotel around 4.30pm on Sunday July 15.

Vincents Solicitors is among 15 businesses to donate a minimum of £250, and Lytham office head Chris Mathews will officially start the challenge when he drops the flag on Thursday. Then the Vincents team will be out in force to welcome home the riders along with Fylde Mayor Councillor Peter Collins, and help with a final fundraising push along St Annes Prom on Sunday.

The Community Hub at the Church Road Methodist Church will make use of some currently underused space, and the buildings are to be renovated to create a café, community space and meeting rooms. When complete, Fylde foodbank will return to the church from its temporary premises, and the building will house Wesley’s Community Café, providing healthy, affordable meals, cookery classes and companionship.

Rev Stephen Heath said: “We ran the café last year as a trial and it proved incredibly popular, so we decided to upgrade the buildings to create a bigger community hub and expand what we’re offering. I have people stopping me on the street to ask when the café will reopen, to which I answer ‘as soon as possible’ so we’re busy raising funds to complete the building works and kit out the whole place.

“The bike ride aims to raise more than £10,000 and we’ve been so pleased with the support we have received from many local businesses. With their donations we can get the community hub up and running sooner rather than later, bringing people together and providing those who need extra support with the help they need.

“We’re also supporting Trinity Hospice which is an organisation that touches everybody across the Fylde coast. The service it provides is priceless, but it costs many millions of pounds to run, and so regular fundraising is vital.”

The Community Hub and Wesley’s Café will provide a meeting place for anyone from the local community, such as the playgroup and choir which already meet at the church, plus youth groups and senior clubs. The ambition is that it will also help to tackle a variety of issues including social isolation and food poverty, and help people access other services.

Chris Mathews, head of Vincents’ Lytham office said: “I’ve known Stephen for years and he is tireless in his ambition to help people. He’s told me about the genuine difference the cafe made to people during the trial, giving many something to look forward to and getting them out of the house, or helping them to learn to cook and feed their family on a budget. It’s such a compelling story that you can’t help but want to get involved and we will be looking at what else Vincents can do to support this innovative and exciting project in the future.

“We’re also delighted to be contributing towards fundraising for Trinity Hospice. Our business has offices across Lancashire and has long been keen to support the local hospice in each local area. These organisations play an important role in our communities and deserve all our support.”

To join the Vincents team in welcoming back the riders, meet at The Dalmeny Hotel, South Promenade, St Annes at approximately 4.30 pm. To sponsor the team go to:

Businesses which have sponsorsed include: Apple Bikes, Barnetts at Inn on the Prom, Bushell & Benstead, Chartered Surveyors, Cooksons Transport, Dalmeny Resort Hotel, Fylde Coast Window Cleaners, G-Line Holidays, D Hollowells & Sons, Funeral Directors, Mark Rae Funeral Directors, Roland L Whitehead & Daughter Funeral Directors, Stephen Taylor Opticians, Stirk House Hotel, Tyson Construction, Vincents, Solicitors, Whitehead & Howarth Chartered Accountants.

Pictured (L-R): Rev Stephen Heath, who will be in the support crew, with Vincents Solicitors’ Chris Mathews and Claire Burns, and wife Linda Heath.