Celebrity Masterchef series 13 was launched August 23rd, and Stef Reid made her appearance in the heats on Thursday 6th September at 8pm on BBC1.  Stef is the reigning Long Jump World Champion for female amputees, and also works as a broadcaster and keynote speaker.  She is a triple Paralympic medalist and recently made her acting debut in “The Energy Within“.

Grange Park Centre (GPC) charity is thrilled to announce that Stef has agreed to come on board as the ambassador of the new community centre that it is building in Loughborough South. The GPC charity was awarded £500,000 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities buildings Fund in March this year, and has secured donations from a number of Trusts and Foundations keen to support this fantastic community-focused space.

Paul Gadd, chair and trustee of the GPC charity, was keen to involve Stef in the project after hearing her talk about her amazing achievements and life journey. “Stef spoke about how she had overcome injuries in the previous 18 months, forcing her to stop training at a key time when she had reached a peak in her athletic achievements. She shared how she had learnt to be at peace in her circumstances. She was inspirational, and I knew I wanted her to be involved with the charity to help inspire people through life’s challenges.”

“We met up to talk more about the project and the type of activities we will run from the community centre. She said she was keen to be involved as an Ambassador at the centre around the areas of sport, well-being, cookery, and healthy eating. All these elements are right at the heart of our vision for the community centre, which is driven by extensive resident consultation. It felt so right that she is on board. We are looking forward to working together to prepare a program of activities ready for the community centre’s planned opening in April 2019”.

The GPC charity is working with the communities of Shelthorpe Ward –- which includes Shelthorpe (where Stef lived on Poplar Road from 2012 to 2013), Grange Park and Haddon Way – with the vision of creating a community centre as a shared space. Feedback from consultation events and resident surveys has emphasised the need for a venue for exercise clubs, children’s groups, community activities, and adult learning.

Over the past year, GPC has also been awarded a £10,000 Big Lottery ‘Awards for All’ grant to provide skill assessment and training along a number of grants from a Foundations and charities including Charnwood Borough Council, Leicestershire County Council, the Helen Jean Cope Trust and the Garfield Western Foundation.

Charnwood Borough Council unanimously approved the Grange Park Centre planning application at the public meeting on 8 February 2018. The final design includes a main hall, three meeting rooms, a business hub with 5 rentable desks, and a 36 space car park.

The project team are currently focusing on additional grant applications and fundraising to secure the remaining funding needed for the centre, including the fixtures and fittings and a part-time centre manager for the first year.

The charity are keen for local residents, local businesses, Foundations and Trusts to get involved with the project and make a difference for this and future generations. Find out more at www.grangeparkcentre.org.uk or email help@grangeparkcentre.org.uk.

7th September 2018