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People with sight loss to get practical and emotional support thanks to West Lancashire freemasons

MORE than 200 visually impaired and lonely local people will be given vital practical and emotional support, thanks to a grant of ₤57,000 to Galloway's Society for the Blind from West Lancashire freemasons. The grant supports the 'Be Seen' project aimed at people over 50, who will be given specially tailored support plans to cater for their individual interests and needs including advice about the latest technology and equipment. The overall aim of the project is to help blind and partially sighted people to reduce loneliness and establish a sustainable support network for the future. As well as the very practical elements of the package, Galloway's will provide much needed emotional support, to combat the depression and isolation that so often accompany sight loss. Every year, the charity provides services that help thousands of people to regain their confidence and independence. The demand for sight loss support services in Lancashire is expected to grow with more than 41,000 people in the county currently affected by sight loss, and 3  quarters of those over the age of 50. They are part of 2  million visually impaired people across the UK. People living in Lancashire are also more likely to experience sight loss than the average for those living in England with 3.4% of the population affected compared to 3.1% nationally.

Feelings of wellbeing are lower amongst blind and partially sighted people when compared to the rest of the population. 4  out of every 10 blind and partially sighted people felt moderately or completely cut off from people and things around them. More than 40% of people attending low vision clinics are suffering from symptoms of clinical depression. 31% of blind and partially sighted people were rarely or never optimistic about the future.

Head of Income Generation and Communications for Galloway's, Nicola Hanna, said:- "We're absolutely delighted that the West Lancashire freemasons have chosen to support Galloway's. This generous grant means we can reach even more people who might be struggling with the effects of sight loss, and who might be feeling isolated and depressed. Our goal is that nobody should have to face sight loss alone."

Tony Harrison, leader of West Lancashire freemasons said:- "I'm very pleased we've been able to help Galloway's with their hugely important work. Sight loss can be devastating, and the practical and emotional support that Galloway's gives to thousands of visually impaired people is absolutely crucial. The grant from West Lancashire freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales. To find out more about how you can protect your eyes please visit:- Galloways.Org.UK."

Epstein Statue Appeal Needs A Bit Of Help From Brian's Friends To Hit Target

A Crowdfunder campaign to create a lasting legacy to former Beatles' manager Brian Epstein has only a few days left to reach its target and organisers are appealing for the support of the public. The team behind:- 'The Brian Epstein Statue Project' are urging Beatles fans, music fans, and local residents and worldwide supporters to throw their support behind the campaign.

The Brian Epstein Statue Project aims to create a world 1st with a statue honouring the man fondly known as the Fifth Beatle, Brian Epstein. Almost ₤10,000 has already been pledged, but there is still a long way to go to reach the appeal's ₤60,000 target. The Crowdfunder appeal will close, at 6pm, on Thursday, 21 November 2019, so time is running out fast. Pledges of any amount can be made and will be gratefully received, and a number of new rewards and incentives have also been announced as part of the appeal countdown.

A Beatles experience for the ultimate Fab 4  fan includes a 2 night stay for 2 people in the Lennon Suite at Hard Days Night Hotel, in Liverpool, including:- breakfast and dinner, as well as tickets to The Cavern Club, The Beatles Story, The Magical Beatles Museum, and Magical Mystery Tour. Suggested pledge ₤1,300.

Enjoy a ride in a replica of John Lennon's vintage Rolls Royce. A personal driving tour from the owner will make it an unforgettable experience in this striking classic car. Suggested pledge ₤150.

Pledge ₤25 to own a limited edition mounted print signed by artist Tom Donahue and author Marie Darwin from the book, What Did Grandad Paul Do When He Was Little? There are just 10 prints available.

Various levels of donation are also available including the Hall Of Fame, Certificate Of Support, and Add Your Own Clay. A full list of rewards and incentives is available on the Crowdfunding page.

Less than 2  weeks left to support legacy campaign 

The Beatles' former manager, Liverpool born Brian Epstein, is credited with catapulting the Fab 4  to global success. Yet there is no lasting tribute to recognise and celebrate the vital role he played in the band's history, nor how he changed the face and sound of popular music. Brian Epstein made history. The Crowdfunder campaign was launched at the Epstein Theatre, located on Hanover Street in Liverpool City Centre, which also marked Brian Epstein's 85th Birthday.

Project manager and cultural activist Tom Calderbank commented:- "Brian needs a bit of help from his friends. We're encouraging, urging and pleading that people come together and be part of something special to celebrate Brian's legacy. We've worked tirelessly since the appeal went live, but it's proving to be quite a task. But we're not beaten, we've still got time. We hope the fantastic new incentives and rewards will generate more interest. We think we've reached more than a million people worldwide through our appeal and media coverage, but it's just not enough. A big thank you to everyone who has already pledged, people have been very generous and understand what we are striving to achieve in Brian's name. If you believe in us and want to see this project happen, then please get involved. Each and every 1 of us have something to thank Brian for, he changed the course of music and social history. That deserves a fitting lasting tribute in his honour."

The Brian Epstein Statue Project committee have wealth of experience and expertise across public art, publishing, theatre production, and the local Beatles industry. Collectively they have a strong desire to ensure the project is successful and are passionate that a lasting tribute to Brian and all he achieved in the history of popular music should be created in Liverpool to celebrate his role in history.

The committee includes cultural campaigner and activist Tom Calderbank; Beatles' fan Marie Darwin who was part of a group who campaigned for a plaque to be placed on the birthplace of Brian Epstein; Beatles' Historians, Researchers and Authors Kevin and Julie Roach, and son Robert; Larry Sidorczuk was the personal assistant to the late Joe Flannery, Brian Epstein's original business partner and bookings manager; and Bill Elms, a producer of the smash hit play:- 'Epstein - The Man Who Made The Beatles,' which was staged both in Liverpool and on the London's West End.

Brian Epstein owned NEMS record shop in Whitechapel. It was a lunchtime visit to The Cavern Club in the heart of Liverpool to watch a 4 piece rock and roll band on 9 November 1961 which would change the course of history. Music and life in Liverpool would never be the same again. That band was The Beatles, who Brian would go on to manage. In addition to managing The Beatles, Brain Epstein is credited to creating and developing the Merseybeat movement. He also signed a number of other performers including Cilla Black, Gerry And The Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer And The Dakotas, and The Moody Blues.

The Brian Epstein Statue Project has the support of Brian Epstein's family, and the Willis family representing the late Cilla Black.  The project is also being backed by Liverpool born actor Andrew Lancel, who appears in a short video on the appeal's Crowdfunder page. The former Coronation Street and The Bill actor portrayed Brian in the smash hit play Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles on stage in Liverpool and London's West End to critical acclaim. He later played Brian again in the recent tour of Cilla The Musical and is a huge advocate of recognising all Brian achieved.  Author Kevin Roach recently published his latest book, Brian Epstein And The Beatles 1964: The Year That Changed The World, proceeds of which will be donated to The Brian Epstein Statue Project.

Sculptor Andy Edwards has been commissioned to create the state of Brian Epstein. Andy is best known for his iconic sculpture of The Beatles located at Pier Head Liverpool, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Andy sculpted The Truce, which can be found in the grounds of St Luke's Church, depicting the historic moment on Christmas Day 1914 during the 1st World War ceasefire when a game of football spontaneously broke out between British and German soldiers. He also co-sculpted the statue of Cilla Black on Mathew Street.

Donations can be made by visiting:- CrowdFunder.Co.UK.

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