Changing Lives

4th September 2017

Shailesh Vara MP launched the Changing Lives project in Somersham at the weekend. The launch was at the Millennium Pavilion in the village and was also attended by Cllr Steve Criswell, Members of Somersham Parish Council and local residents.

The scheme is for the benefit of people living in Somersham and surrounding villages and it has been designed to help people living with degenerative neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. The project has received funding from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Innovation Fund and will focus on keeping those participating active and fit. Help will also be provided for carers, family and friends who are in need of respite.

In recent years, Somersham Parish Council has led the way in supporting members of the local community with long-term health conditions by setting up a Timebank, writing a Community Plan and running a Health and Wellbeing group to connect volunteers and health professionals in the local area.

Following the event, Mr Vara said:

“Changing Lives is a great initiative and I was very pleased to launch this innovative project. It is so inspiring to see the community rallying around to help others.

As well as benefits for those living with degenerative conditions, it is excellent news that help for carers, family and friends is also being offered as they often give so much without recognition or reward.

Cllr Steve Criswell has provided terrific support at County Council level and Penny Bryant, Clerk to Somersham Parish Council, and Lucy Bird, Timebank Coordinator, deserve a huge amount of praise for the enormous work they have put in. I wish the project the very best for the future.”

Local County Councillor and Chairman of Somersham Parish Council, Steve Criswell, added:

“This is another example of the local community looking after its residents. The Changing Lives initiative helps people to live with certain conditions and remain a valued and active part of the community.” 

Photo: Mr Vara and Cllr Steve Criswell along with many of those attending the launch.