WHO WE ARE
West End Impact was founded in 2002 as a trust (reg. charity number 1094125) and converted to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in 2013 (reg. charity number 1153736).
We are a Christian charity, but not exclusively for church people; our faith inspires us to do what we do, but we include anyone. In the beginning we opened our doors and provided a free meal for those who were finding it hard to make ends meet. Our strategy was not to have a strategy, but to help people in whatever they were struggling with. That was the starting point of what has developed over the last 18 years. As we saw the needs, we developed our services to meet the needs. Instead of starting programs we thought were a good idea, we got to know the people over free food, and then organically established the programs together around the struggles the clients shared with us.
The West End is an area in Morecambe, Lancashire, one of the poorest coastal towns in England. It has a population of approximately 5,000.
The West End is typical of many coastal communities where tourism has declined; poor employment opportunities and a legacy of low wages, a large amount of privately rented, substandard accommodation in multiple-occupation, with many being former seaside guesthouses.
The wards around our centre are ranked as low as among the 1% most deprived areas in England. Our local population is affected by low income, poor health, below average life expectancy, low educational attainment, poor housing and homelessness and high levels of crime with problems such as drug use and anti-social behaviour.
The West End also has low male and female life expectancy and relatively high levels of child and working age poverty.
Through countless conversations with people over a free meal and research of the services available locally, we discovered many barriers in accessing services. Over the years our services have developed to try and fill some of these gaps and overcome barriers.