Southport actor, David Lonsdale, of Heartbeat and Coronation Street fame, was on hand to support local group Stepping Stones at their Christmas Fair last weekend.
Stepping Stones is a group in Southport for those with mental health, physical or learning disability issues and provides activities to build their confidence and wellbeing such as arts and crafts, archery, snooker and indoor bowling.
“I was invited to come along by one of the members from Stepping Stones and I was happy to do it,” explains David, who supports several different groups in Sefton such as Bridge Inn Community Farm and Live to Learn by delivering drama and radio classes.
“From all the groups I have visited in Southport, I have been impressed because they are atmospheric and such happy places to spend the day,” adds David, who played David Stockwell on Heartbeat for 16 years.
Stepping Stones received a £500 Community Resilience Grant from the wellbeing organisation Living Well Sefton to help towards art and craft supplies as well as supporting volunteers to attend sessions. Karen Nolan, Co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, says: “It is great that the grant enables groups like Stepping Stones to continue offering activities that are such a focal point of people’s lives.”
Chairman, Mike Swift, explains: “Stepping Stones started in 2012 and we offer Sefton residents the opportunity to meet new friends and take part in social activities. We also arrange activities in the community as a follow on, to help people get out and learn.”
Stepping Stones meets on a Tuesday at the Temperance Institute, Southport, for arts and crafts and Mike says there are spaces for those interested in coming along on a Thursday at the Institute between 1pm and 4pm. “Currently we have games day or archery on a Thursday but when the weather is better we have trips out.”
The group is part of Sefton Advocacy, an independent charity offering adults in Sefton a free advocacy service to support them with their concerns.
To find out more about Thursday sessions at Stepping Stones call Mike on 07599 093460 or Sefton Advocacy 01704 500500. For details on Living Well Sefton call 0300 323 0181 or visit: www.livingwellsefton.org.uk