New bench is donated to local community

Members of WLCS Lee Casey and Sue Hart with Carol Shields from Whitley Lodge Under Fives with children from Whitley Lodge.

Members of WLCS Lee Casey and Sue Hart with Carol Shields from Whitley Lodge Under Fives with children from Whitley Lodge.

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A new feature has been unveiled in a shopping area thanks to the support of local businesses.

Whitley Lodge Community Spirit (WLCS) has funded the new community bench at Whitley Lodge Shopping Centre, in Whitley Bay.

And they have also donated £400 to Whitley Lodge Under Fives to buy new equipment.

Canon Sue Hart, a Reader at St Mary’s Parish Church and Chair of Whitley Lodge Community Spirit, said: “The bench purchase represents a significant proportion of the WLCS funds raised this year but we felt it essential to give the opportunity for people to enjoy a sit down and to potentially engage with each other socially, particularly the elderly within our community.”

Carol Shields, Whitley Lodge Under Fives manager, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Whitley Lodge Community Spirit to receive their very generous donation.

“We will be looking to buy some play equipment for the children joining us this September, of which we still have limited vacancies available.”

The remaining monies will go towards the funding of the Christmas celebrations as well as next year’s summer fair but there is a small pot still available for any other local organisation that may benefit from a little financial help before Christmas.

Other recent WLCS purchases have included the flower planters outside the shops, the Christmas lights on the lampposts and a park bench for Whitley Lodge First School.

The next WLCS meeting is on September 2, at 6pm at The Kittiwake. Residents, businesses and supporters of Whitley Lodge are all welcome.

Whitley Lodge Community Spirit is a non-profit organisation raising funds for the local Whitley Lodge area to run the summer and Christmas fairs. It is run by volunteers from the Whitley Lodge businesses, St Mary’s Church and residents within the area.

Whitley Lodge Under Fives is a sessional pre-school that meets daily and incorporates a Toddler group, which meets on two afternoons per week.