Children’s charity celebrates 30 years of operating in Cumbria

The NSPCC Cumbria branch marked the 30th anniversary of setting up in Carlisle’s Chatsworth Square with a special party attended by staff, volunteers and local dignitaries.

The Carlisle Service Centre currently offers “therapeutic intervention” for children who have been sexually abused through its Letting The Future In service, protection of young people from sexual exploitation with Protect & Respect and services for young people with harmful sexual behaviour through Turn The Page.

The centre was officially opened in 1987 by HRH Princess Margaret.

As well as celebrating the work that’s already gone on the charity is determined to continue its vital work and has now launched a new fundraising campaign.

The charity wants the centre to provide a safe and welcoming environment for vulnerable children and their families staff believe the site feels dated.

So they plan on changing that with the launch of the new appeal – the NSPCC’s 30 Years Together For Childhoods. It is hoped that local businesses and fundraisers will come together to revamp the tired-looking centre with a fresh coat of paint, new furniture and new toys for the children to use in their therapy sessions.

Carlisle service centre manager Iain McKay says: “It is tremendous that the NSPCC has been able to commit to Cumbria for so many years, I am so proud that all involved – be they staff or volunteers – show such dedication day in, day out.

“They make a huge difference to all our children’s lives and to the NSPCC’s fight for every childhood.”

The celebration was addressed by Peter Wanless, chief executive of NSPCC UK.

He says: “The opportunity to say thank you to these extraordinary volunteers who fund raise tirelessly who allow us to deliver this service which we wouldn’t be able to do without them is wonderful.

“It’s also to say thank you to the staff who do this incredibly difficult job which transforms the lives of children, it’s incredible.”

Mr Wanless adds that it’s also a time to pause and look ahead at how to best support the charity’s needs going forward.

“The need is there and the issues are urgent and we are determined to play whatever part we can,” he continues.

Juliet Westoll MBE, chairman of the North Cumbria Branch fundraising committee, whose idea it was for the new fundraising appeal, says: “The atmosphere at the Carlisle centre is so warm and welcoming with the fabulous staff fully focused on the young people they help I couldn’t help but think how much better it could all be for a lick of paint.