BUDDHISTS are hoping to give a Blackpool community a boost

By Lisa Ettridge, Blackpool Gazette, 21 September 2009

Blackpool, UK -- The Keajra Buddhist Centre in North Shore has undergone a £35,000 makeover.

The Holmfield Road centre has been given a total facelift including a new kitchen, re-decoration and improved access for disabled people.

Kelly Neale, administration director for the centre, said: "The centre is so much better now the improvement works have finished.

"It is really important we are accessible for the whole community so we look forward to welcoming more residents here in the future.

"It is so much lighter and more welcoming now, the people who use the centre have said they love it."

The centre opened on the Holmfield Road site in 2006 and is used by people of all ages and abilities to learn about Buddhism and its practices, including meditation.

The changes mean there is now a disabled access toilet, ramps around the doorways and a new stairlift.

It is used for a number of different classes and lectures throughout the week, with people attending from all over the UK.

The centre also has a schools programme and works widely within the community.

The changes have been brought about thanks to a grant from The Veolia Environmental Trust, made through the Landfill Communities Fund a scheme set up from the tax paid on landfill.

Sandi Taylor from Cleveleys is a wheelchair user who visits the centre.
She said: "I think it is wonderful and the improved access will make a big difference for local people.

"Lots of disabled people use the centre for the sessions on meditation, it really helps you to relax and gain a positive frame of mind.

"I hope more people will take advantage of it."

Paul Rangecroft, 37, from North Shore, added: "The centre is a real haven for people now, it's so welcoming and relaxing.

"This opening is the first time the centre has felt really finished since we moved here in 2006.

"It is a great place for people to try meditation and get access to Buddhist teachings, they are as relevant now as they have ever been."