Let us tell you about Sam's Place
Sam’s Place is a local charity that supports young people with other abilities to have the same opportunities and experiences as everyone else.
This includes, work experience, enterprise and social groups to provide development and respite for the young people and their families.
The History of Sam's Place
The concept began from a conversation between Dr. David Cooper, founder of Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice in Bispham, and Sam’s mum, Carla Ronson, after Sam sadly passed away at the age of 9 in 2007.
Sam had become one of the real characters attending Brian House; always positive, never giving up and wanting to try every opportunity afforded to him. When the question was raised about “What more could we have done?”
Carla explained it was so difficult to go away, even for a weekend as a complete family that it would be helpful for families like hers to have a facility where Sam could enjoy a break away with his siblings as other families can.
So, a new charity was established – Sam’s Place.
The original plan was to build a £2 million holiday and respite centre at Ashley Hall in Thornton, but planning restrictions and legal complications led to the idea being quashed. Not to be deterred, the trustees and volunteers made the decision to work in partnership with Ribby Hall to develop an adapted lodge onsite.
However, austerity set in and fundraising became difficult for a small charity and a small volunteer team. Especially as by this time many other facilities had been built around the country (including the north), thus negating the reason for another on the Fylde Coast.
Undeterred, the trustees and volunteers never gave up the hope that Sam’s memory would be preserved in a concept which would help children and their families like his.
It is at this point the trustees heard about RISE (Respect, Independence, Social Engagement) Enterprise and Work Experience Project (WEP).
The opportunities given to the young people in our locality through this very niche and specialised project fits exactly the sort of objectives Sam’s Place had hoped to achieve. With this in mind, our vision is to develop an opportunity not otherwise available to our most vulnerable young people and their families. A concept that Sam would have definitely agreed to with his remarkable zest for life and the philosophy that EVERYONE has the capacity to do their very best.
So, a new and exciting partnership has been developed with the intention that RISE & Work Experience Project @ Sam’s Place will have its own permanent venue and thus provide many social opportunities and life skill experiences for young people in our locality with other abilities.
By Lesley Bennett, Trustee