Rio medallists open new care facility

Tom Hamer, Steven Burke and John McBeth as they unveil the plaque. Photo: Tim Bradley
Tom Hamer, Steven Burke and John McBeth as they unveil the plaque. Photo: Tim Bradley

Two East Lancashire medal winning stars from the Rio Games were on hand to open a new care facility in Colne.

Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Steven Burke and Burnley-born Paralympic silver medallist swimmer Tom Hamer officially opened the newly improved Stanley Villas in Albert Road after a two year refurbishment.

Tom Hamer and Steven Burke (s)

Tom Hamer and Steven Burke (s)

Owned by Pendle Support, which is based in the top two floors, the company has recently launched a community interest company Enable U which will be based in the ground floor.

Enable U was set up to make a difference locally to adults with learning disabilities and part of its aim was to provide a day service with a difference for adults with disabilities, aiming to support people to become as independent as possible and to help them develop existing skills and learn new ones.

Lancashire County Council provided £15,000 of grant support and Pendle Council a further £2,000 for a changing place bathroom facility which is the only one in Burnley and Pendle. The ground floor also has a kitchen, crafts room and chill out room as well as large room for games.

John McBeth is business manager at Pendle Support working alongside wife Sandra who is registered manager. They said: “We had a great day. It was an honour to have Steven and Tom attend, an Olympian and Paralympian.

Tom and Steven pose with Burnley FC shirts with John McBeth (s)

Tom and Steven pose with Burnley FC shirts with John McBeth (s)

“Tom has overcome so many personal obstacles to get to where he is today and we are hoping that with Enable U we can help other people with their own obstacles and improve their lives where possible.

“With Pendle Support, we support 90 adults and children with disabilities and we realised there was a need for a day service.

“We hope to expand what we do in the future with Enable U. We already have a dance class we run on a Wednesday and have recently restarted the Gannow Club on a Thursday for adults with disabilities where we have over 30 people attending karaoke, arts and crafts, pool, and a disco.”