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News Report Page 7 of 11
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Plans to create "a boulevard of light" along the historic Lord Street in Southport is now past the halfway stage

THE whole of 1 side of the tree lined town centre boulevard, which is home to scores of:- shops, bars, hotels and restaurants, is now complete with decorative lighting. Visitors can see lights wrapped around trees from the Community Fire and Ambulance Station end towards The Ribble building end on the eastern side, with contractors now getting close to The Scarisbrick Hotel on the seaward side of the street. The ambitious Southport Business Improvement District (Southport BID) project aims to create a dazzling outdoor environment and support the town's thriving outdoor leisure culture.  When the work is completed, and lockdown measures are eased, it will make Lord Street a beautiful place to sit back and enjoy a meal, shop or share a drink with friends.  The initiative has been made possible thanks to ₤100,000 Acceleration Grant funding through the Southport Town Deal, in addition to match funding by Southport BID.  The new lighting is being installed by Southport firm Illumidex UK Ltd.

Illumidex owner Steve Clayton said:- "They look amazing! Now we are putting lights along both sides of Lord Street, it is forming a tunnel of light which looks fantastic. I can't wait to see it all finished! I don't know of anywhere else in the UK which is going to have a 1 mile shopping street like this containing 20 miles of lights with 300,000 bulbs wrapped around 80 trees. The reaction has been brilliant. We have had so many people pulling over in their cars to say we're doing a great job, people tooting their horns, and lots of nice comments on social media. 1 bloke walks his dog along Lord Street every night, and enjoys seeing how we're doing. A lot of people are made up when they find out that we're a Southport firm doing all this work, when they see the 01704 number on the side of our work vehicles. I get a lot of pleasure doing this because I can see what it is doing to our town. In this drab time of Covid, it is really brightening Southport up. Lord Street is really glowing at the moment. I would love to be able to see an aerial view of it all when it's done! The lights are going to attract a lot of visitors because it gives a great feeling to the area. It is what Lord Street should look like. We started at the fire station end of Lord Street and then moved all the way down to the Morrisons end, wrapping around 3 trees each night. We are now coming back up the other side and hope to be completed in the next few weeks. The lockdown restrictions in place at the moment means that the town centre is much quieter than usual, so it's easier for us to complete our work. We estimate we're wrapping around 3 trees a night, putting around 30 sets of lights in each, depending on the size of the tree. The biggest tree we've wrapped so far was 1 next to Remedy, where we used 85 sets of lights. It's so bright it lights up Southport Town Hall! It took us 4 hours to light up that 1. We have used 60 sets of lights in a couple of trees, and 50 in another. By the time we've finished we will have used 3,000 set of lights in total, containing 300,000 bulbs. The lights that we're installing now are a lot brighter than the previous ones."

Sefton Council contractors helped by pruning the trees along Lord Street so the new lights could be installed. ½ moon discs, each containing a number, will be attached to each of boulevard's 80 trees, so local business owners or members of the public can easily identify or report any trees where any issues may need addressing in the months ahead.

Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said:- "Replacing the lights along both sides of this mile long street is a substantial project, which has been made possible by the BID and its members, the local businesses we have here in Southport town centre. Lord Street in Southport is 1 of the most beautiful and unique shopping streets in the North West. It is home to lots of superb shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and other local businesses. We want to encourage people in our Town to think about Lord Street as a place we are all very proud of, and that is why we are investing substantial amounts of money to make it shine. We can't wait to see local residents and visitors being able to return and enjoy shopping and enjoying a good night out here."

For more details please visit:- SouthportBID.Com,

COVID won't wilt Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal as charity urges supporters in Lancashire and Merseyside to step into spring to help

END of life charity, Marie Curie, is calling on people across Lancashire and Merseyside to step into spring next month by completing a daily 10,000 step challenge to show support for those impacted by death, dying and bereavement.

Marie Curie's flagship fundraiser the Great Daffodil Appeal; which is reaching its 35th Anniversary next month:- has, for the 1st time, had to cancel all of their iconic public collections for the campaign. The charity is facing a potential loss of over ₤3 million due to this, but is encouraging the people of Lancashire and Merseyside to support in a variety of creative ways.

1 way the charity is hoping their supporters will back the campaign is by donning their trainers, getting out in the great outdoors every day and walking 10,000 steps. The Great Daffodil Appeal is the largest fundraising campaign in the Hospice sector and, since it began in 1986, the money raised has helped Marie Curie run its essential frontline services providing care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families across the UK.

The last 12 months have been extremely difficult, as key fundraising events have been cancelled and all of Marie Curie's charity shops have had to close. Despite the cancelled public collections, the charity is calling on the public to dig deep and donate online, where they can also order their iconic daffodil pins too.

All donations from the Great Daffodil Appeal will ensure that Marie Curie Nurses, Doctors and Hospice staff can continue working on the frontline throughout the Pandemic caring for people at end of life. Last year, the charity saw a 16.5% rise in the number of people they cared for at end of life, compared to 2019 and their support line saw a 20% increase in calls too.

Hannah Taylor, Marie Curie's Head of Community Fundraising in the North West said:- "The Great Daffodil Appeal is vitally important to us. Having been held every March for over 3 decades, this is the 1st time we've had to cancel all of our public collections. This is a huge blow as each volunteer would raise ₤80 from a collection shift: enough to pay for the equivalent of 4 hours of nursing care. The campaign would normally bring together millions of people across the country to volunteer, fundraise, donate and wear a daffodil and we're still encouraging people to do this in any way they can in a safe manner. Around 300 people a day already miss out on the end of life support they need and we expect this figure to rise as a result of the Pandemic, combined with usual winter pressures associated with seasonal flu and the backlog of people who have missed diagnoses. In these unprecedented times we need peoples' support now more than ever. Volunteers play a huge role in helping us raise money, continue our vital work across Lancashire and Merseyside and ensure Marie Curie Nurses can be there to provide end of life care when people need it."

Alison Steadman, Actor and Marie Curie Ambassador, said:- "I have seen 1sthand the incredible difference Marie Curie makes and just how important their work is in caring for people with a terminal illness and their families. The loving care they gave my mum when she was dying is something that I'll never forget and will always remember. I don't know how we would have managed as a family without the Marie Curie Nurses and Doctors and dread to think about what it would mean if they weren't there for all the families that need them.The work Marie Curie do is needed now more than ever as the Covid Pandemic has had a big impact on their ability to fundraise. That is why I'm encouraging people across the whole of the UK to show their support in any way they can in March for this year's Great Daffodil Appeal. Every donation means that when the time comes, Marie Curie can be there for people and their loved ones when they need it most."

During the Great Daffodil Appeal the 1st annual National Day of Reflection will take place. Since the 1st lockdown began in 2020, millions of people have been bereaved. Join Marie Curie on 23 March, the 1st Anniversary of UK lockdown, for a day to reflect and commemorate this tragic loss of life.

For more information on how to fundraise, donate or set up a virtual collection, visit:- MarieCurie.Org.UK.

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