Stars light-up debt project

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA CURRY

TWO Hol­ly­wood ac­tors dropped in at a hub in Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre to sup­port its new project help­ing those strug­gling with debt.

Steve Coogan, who was born in Alkring­ton, vis­ited the Light­house Project in Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre, of which he is a pa­tron, and brought with him fel­low ac­tor Michael Sheen.

The pair both have a pas­sion for tack­ling is­sues af­fect­ing poverty and debt in our com­mu­ni­ties.

Michael set up the End High Cost Credit Al­liance, tak­ing on high cost high street credit which un­fairly tar­gets those who can least af­ford it.

Steve, a for­mer Car­di­nal Lan­g­ley stu­dent, in­vited Michael to dis­cover the work of the Light­house Project, which is run by char­ity In­spire Mid­dle­ton, and its new Light­house Money Ad­vice debt ser­vice which opened this month.

The Light­house Project works in part­ner­ship with other or­gan­i­sa­tions, pro­vid­ing a hub for com­mu­nity work and of­fers so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and in­ter­est groups to re­duce so­cial iso­la­tion and im­prove peo­ple’s health and well­be­ing.

Steve and Michael spent time speak­ing with some of the project’s reg- ular vis­i­tors, hear­ing their sto­ries and strug­gles, and even posed for pic­tures.

Sarah Poretta from the Money Ad­vice Ser­vice and Tony Coleville from Michael’s UK of­fice also at­tended and to­gether with the or­gan­is­ers of the Light­house Project they dis­cussed and ex­plored ways to help peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing per­sonal dif­fi­cul­ties and fi­nan­cial poverty.

Carl Roach, the Light­house Project trustee, said: “We had op­por­tu­nity to share our heart and vi­sion and to show them some of the ways that we have been tack­ling lo­cal need through the ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties that we have man­aged to cre­ate here in Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre.

“Michael said that they had vis­ited many com­mu­nity projects around the coun­try, but they had not vis­ited one based in a shop­ping cen­tre be­fore, which was an un­ex­pected but in­spired idea.

“It is fair to say that ev­ery­one en­joyed the visit and the time to­gether, shar­ing like pas­sion and con­cerns.

“We look for­ward to de­vel­op­ing our fu­ture work to­gether and com­ing up with new ways of re­duc­ing poverty and debt amongst the peo­ple we sup­port.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Light­house Project, call 0161 643 1163 or email carl@light­house­pro­ject.org.uk.

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