Marie moved to Skelmersdale seven years ago with her husband and four children and although she is West Lancs born and bred, she knew little about the town. She started to make connections with some of the many wonderful things happening in Skelmersdale, and some have proved hugely significant in Marie’s life journey.
‘I needed to make some changes in my life and get to grips with some of my health issues, and about 5 years ago, one of the first things I got involved in was ‘Community Circles’.
Community Circles is a national initiative. It brings two or more people together around someone who wants a little help to make a change in their life. That change can be anything – from getting out and about more, to starting a new hobby or restarting an old one, or creating opportunities to spend more time with friends or family.
‘I’ve been meeting with my Community Circles facilitator once a month for support, and it’s been great. One thing it’s really helped with is being honest about my condition and finding ways to live with it. It’s also put me in touch with so many other things going on. I joined a leadership programme in church which helped me identify what my main skills and strengths are, and that has led to me starting a business to make handcrafted items to order (all the profits go to support the prayer shawl ministry in a local church)’.
‘I’ve also started teaching crochet and handicrafts in various places in Skem and get such a buzz when people bring in things they’ve made with their new skill.
‘Most recently, I joined the Well Skelmersdale Leadership Programme. I was pretty nervous at first, but it’s been brilliant and life-changing. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to do it with – so passionate and collaborative. No-one is in it for their own gain – all are interested in working together to make the town a better place. Their vision and energy have been so inspiring.’
All in all, Marie is sure that moving to Skelmersdale was the best move she ever made:
‘Skem is a gem, and it frustrates me that more people don’t realise it. It’s beautiful and we need to get people to embrace it. The people are amazing and I’ve met some amazingly talented people here. I wish people could see Skem through our eyes – it’s a fab place’.