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International Women’s Day 2018

Another successful event was held at the Winter Gardens Blackpool on Saturday 10th March 2018 to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event, sponsored by Blackpool and The Fylde College attracted over 500 people.

Cheryl Dunn, B&FC Vice Principal HE and Student Enhancement, said: “B&FC is proud to have sponsored this important event which celebrates International Women’s Day. 

“As a College, we have a long history of helping students develop the skills they need to be competitive and successful in a range of technical and professional careers. 

“In support of this year’s theme, Press for Progress, B&FC continues to act as a catalyst for change, enabling increased access to further and higher education opportunities for all.”

The event showcased over 57 stalls, from local independent businesses such as: Kids Be Happy and Bijoux crochet crafts, to larger organisations such as The Imperial Hotel and Lancashire Constabulary Police Cadets. Helen Kershaw Russell compered the event with entertainment from Skool of Street, Blackpool Community Football Trust and local band Tongue of Fire.

URPotential has organised this event for the last 6 years with full support from the Fylde Coast International Women’s Day committee, The Soroptimists and Blackpool Ladies Rotary.

Anne Nolan, Fylde Coast IWD Ambassador, opened the event with an inspiring speech addressing the theme for this year #PledgeForParity campaign, asking that all genders come together to support an equal environment for everyone. Anne has continuously supported this event each year.

The bags and Bras for Hope project donated 30 bags to Fylde Coast Women’s Aid.  The bags, filled with toiletries and essentials, provide vital support for homeless women. In partnership with the Lingerie Lounge the event also asked women to donate their old bras for Cancer Research and to recycle for women in developing countries. Over 100 bras were donated.

Fylde Coast Women were recognised for their contribution to their communities with Awards, sponsored by Santander and presented by Anne Nolan.  There were winners in 2 categories::

Young Woman of the Year

Winner – Faye Ellie Rose – LGB&T Ambassador

Highly Commended  –  Jessica Basquill – Wyre Youth Mayor

Woman of the Year

Winner- Linda Stakehouse – Fleetwood PCSO

Highly Commended – Tina Hibbard – Fylde Coast Women’s Aid Manager

Deborah Terras, Director URPotential & Coordinator of the IWD event said:  ‘ This years’ event was spectacular.  It brought together people from all genders and communities on the Fylde Coast. The nominations for this year’s Fylde Coast Woman of the Year awards were outstanding, and it was an honour to have all the nominees at the event to receive their recognition. It makes you very proud to part of the Fylde Coast Community. Each year we think we can never build on the success of the previous year, and each year the support our event receives seems to increase. Huge thanks to our committee, especially Sue Thompson & Erin Croft, who gave their time to help organise the event and arrange all the stall holders and local female businesses’.  The International Women’s day event raises money for Fylde Coast Women’s Aid and ALL monies raised on the day go directly to the charity.”

URPotential Strengths Review Opportunity

URPotential are requesting expressions of interest from organisations or individuals to provide an organisational strengths review of our company, funded by the Big Lottery. Organisations/individuals are asked to submit a 2 page A4 expression of interest with detailed:

  • Plan of delivery
  • Evidence of skills and previous experience relevant to this proposal
  • References to support organisation/individual track record
  • Costings associated with full delivery including compiling of full report and recommendations to be submitted to the Directors by 27th April 2018

The review will take place in April 2018. It is anticipated the review will take no longer than 3 days to complete.

Please send expressions of interest to no later than 12.30pm on 30th March 2018

Blackpool Youth Council Youth Summit 2018

On Monday 19th February, Blackpool Youth Council held their annual Youth Summit at Blackpool and Fylde College University Centre before an audience of over 50 people, including young people and adults who have a vested interest in young peoples’ issues. The audience had the opportunity to gain an insight into the top 3 issues for young people in Blackpool, as determined by the recent Make Your Mark ballot in late 2017. Audience members then took part in a question and answer panel session where questions relating to Mental Health, A Curriculum to Prepare Us for Life and Work Experience Hubs for 11-18 year olds.

The panel consisted of: Baroness Jo Valentine (Business in the Community), Harry Bates MYP (Member of Youth Parliament for Blackpool), Linda Markey (Director, URPotential), David Eaton (Service Manager, CAMHS Blackpool), Pauline Wigglesworth (Programme Lead, HeadStart Blackpool), Graham Cowley (Chair, Blackpool Opportunity Area).

The discussions on Mental Health focused on the current provision of services available for young people and what organisations like CAHMS and HeadStart are doing in order to expand and improve the services available despite a funding shortfall.

A Curriculum to Prepare Us for Life had discussions that acknowledged major issues in the current PSHE policies of Blackpool’s schools and how young people require a broader education on progressing to the world of adulthood.

The Work Experience Hubs discussions focused on the ongoing work between the Blackpool Opportunity Area, URPotential, Baroness Jo Valentine (Business in the Community) and Blackpool’s schools to establish a strong network of work experience contacts and placements for Blackpool’s secondary school students, enabling students to access a broader range of opportunities. The need for useful and insightful work experience was also mentioned on multiple occasions, highlighting a lack of quality work experience in some areas.

From this event, Blackpool Youth Council rebranded with a new identity (formerly Blackpool Youth Voice) and hopes that the forthcoming year will be one of successes where the issues young people have raised can be acted upon.

It was great to see a great turnout overall and amazing seeing that our group has backing from substantial areas of the community. It was a productive night and we thank everyone who came to show their support.

If you would like to get involved in Blackpool Youth Council, please contact April at URPotential. 01253 344398,



Blackpool Youth Voice Youth Summit

On Monday 19th February 2018, Blackpool Youth Voice will be holding a youth summit at Blackpool and The Fylde College University Centre, from 5.00pm-8.00pm The purpose of the event is to discuss the top issues of the MYM (Make Your Mark) campaign: living wage, curriculum for life and transport. The evening will also consist of a networking session and a Q&A session with a panel made up of people with expertise in the 3 MYM issues.


Mental Health:

In England, one in four suffer from mental health, some of these could begin in childhood. most who had mental health at the age of 26, half had previous mental health in the past younger than 15, three-quarters by the age of 18. By 20/02/21 the government is pushing to have 70,000 more children and young people should have high access to good quality mental health care. They are also putting £1 billion into mental health services to assure more people have access.

Curriculum For Life:

A curriculum for life is basically where schools provide education for life situations or problems. These things could be taxes, finance, sex and relationships, politics etc. These things would be covered in a lesson called PSHE. Then children an young will be learning life skills which are required to manage their lives, now and in the future. schools are also allowed to cover other topics which they feel is necessary for their pupils.

Work Experience Hubs for 11-18 year olds:

65% of employers reported that relevant work experience was critical when recruiting. Sate funded schools in England are not made sure that their pupil’s participate in work experience under the age of 16. Others that don’t provide education are expected to provide appropriate work experience or work related learning to young people aged 16-19 as part to study programmes. However some schools do provide work experience to pupils in key stage 4 (14 to 16) as a must.

Refreshments will be provided upon arrival at the event.

Blackpool and The Fylde College, University Centre, Park Rd, Blackpool FY1 4ES

URPotential LGB&T FEST 2018

URPotential are proud to announce that for a second year the national LGB&T Youth Fest will be once again be delivered by URPotential, for all 13- 18 year old, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Non-binary young people, living in Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre & across the UK .

The Theme for 2018 LGB&T Fest is ‘Social Action’. 

The event is to be held at the Village Hotel, Blackpool, to celebrate, and support diversity amongst young people. Young people will be able to attend workshops to build confidence, express themselves creatively, learn new skills, meet new people, and have a voice. Local young people are taking on leadership roles as they did last year by planning, organising, and delivering this event to their peers.

The event is funded through United Utilities, Lancashire Foundation and Fylde and Wyre CCG

The event will be happening at the start of February to launch ‘LGB&T History Month’, there will be a choice of workshops, guest speakers, a question time slot, live music and entertainment and lots of information stalls.  Last year the event brought together over a hundred young people and adults to share their experiences, knowledge, and their hopes for the future. 

Youth Worker Nina Beavers says, ‘’It is so important to provide this platform for young people to value their identity and affirm their worth in a world where prejudice and discrimination still exists and continues to affect their well-being on many levels.’’

URPotential also facilitate weekly support groups in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde for all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender young people under the age 25. URPotential also run a Family Support Group for family members, friends and partners. They offer a relaxed, safe and confidential environment for people to come and be themselves to share their stories and seek advice and information.

Support in Fylde and Wyre, call Louise on 01253 344398 or email

Support in Blackpool call Nina on 01253 344398 or email

To book a place or a stall at our LGB&T Fest please contact Laura on 01253 344398 or email








URPotential are thrilled to announce that they have attracted a 3 year investment from Esmée Fairbairn, for a youth leadership programme in Blackpool, which will support young people to make positive changes to their local area.

“Esmée-Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations who are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.  The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK.  In 2016 we made grants of £42.4 million towards a wide range of work within the arts, children and young people, the environment, food and social change. We also have a £45 million allocation to social investments for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.

The URPotential Youth Leadership project will incorporate Blackpool Youth Voice and a Peer Mentor programme. Blackpool Youth Voice are the youth council for the young people of Blackpool. They ensure that every young person, aged 11 to 18, can have their voice heard; allowing young people to have the opportunity to have their say and make informed decisions on key issues impacting them. Blackpool Youth Voice are actively recruiting for more members and will be delivering road shows across the Town in schools and youth groups. URPotential are part of the #iwill Campaign, which promotes social action among 10-20 year-olds. This includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which create a double-benefit – to communities and young people themselves.   The URPotential Peer Mentor project, will recruit young people aged 14- 25 years of age, to be trained as peer mentors and befrienders, to support young people aged 10 – 25, into accessing social activities, volunteering and social action projects.  

We would like to say a massive thank you to Esmée-Fairbairn Foundation for funding our full time participation worker. This post will not only benefit our group, but give a voice to young people across Blackpool. Our immediate plans for the future are to complete our 2017 ‘Make your Mark’ Campaign. We will be working hard to build on our success of the past whilst extending our reach across Blackpool and gaining more recruits to support this significant work. To achieve this, we are planning a road show to engage more schools and local youth clubs.

Josh Thompson
Chair of Blackpool Youth Voice 

For more information about  the Peer Mentor Project and Blackpool Youth Voice go to Blackpool Youth Voice or contact April Rankin on 01253 344398 or

Its official! Deborah is a Finalist in the Enterprise Vision Awards in the Business Woman of the Year Award Category

Deborah Terras is a finalist for this year’s Enterprise Vision Awards in the Business Woman of the Year Award Category. She is a worthy finalist in this category alongside some of her peers.

Deborah set up URPotential 6 years ago with no funding, no office but lots of energy, enthusiasm & passion. She applied for Lottery funding to deliver youth services when Blackpool council had to make the savage cuts securing support for 5000 young people. She moved to the grownups securing funding to deliver training to disadvantaged people supporting into work & volunteering. Developing women only courses for women returning to work after having their children, redundancy & victims of domestic abuse & addiction. She has grown the business from £49K a year to £500K with strong fiscal management, the company has never had an overdraft facility or taken a loan.  She recruited & employed home grown people offering training, paying for staff to go to university to support the development of the business. She volunteers across all sporting activities, supporting women into running, cycling & swimming. She fund raises for local causes close to her heart always about young people and achieving their potential. She represents Great Britain in Biathlon competitions, last year she was in the Florida World Championships representing GB she came 6th in her category. As a young mum with a family & home to run a business to manage plus volunteering and sporting activities it is fair to say she doesn’t sit down a lot. She is an inspirational leader supporting our young staff team to grow & develop. She works hard to put Blackpool on the map in a positive light working in partnership with local council and all 3rd sector organisations. She is chair of Greater Together a 3rd Sector consortium, chair of Blackpool’s 3rd sector leaders group & is very active in VCFS organisation support.  

Wendy Pearce of URPotential has been shortlisted for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Wendy Pearce from Blackpool has been shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Diversity Awards 2017. Charities and role models from across the UK will gather at the breathtaking Anglican Cathedral on September 8th 2017 for the UK’s largest celebration of diversity.
The best of British diversity will travel to Liverpool to showcase the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated their devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in today’s society. Over 22,000 nominations and votes were received this year, paying tribute to grass root communities nationwide.

Wendy said ‘I was absolutely amazed that I was nominated and to be shortlisted is wonderful. I was speechless when the email came through informing me I had been shortlisted. You don’t expect this kind of accolade after all the years of not being recognised. l feel honoured to be one of 22000 who were nominated and am looking forward to an amazing evening in Liverpool surrounded by people who also do wonderful work in their communities’

Wendy has been a youth and community workers for over 40 years. She has supported young people and their families in Blackpool & especially on the estates across the Town. At the amazing age of 76 she has no cause to stop! Wendy has supported over 1500 young people in the years she has worked as a youth worker be that working for Blackpool Council or the VCFS sector. Wendy is not only an amazing youth worker she has also managed many projects including Blackpool Boys and girls club, and Grange Park youth club, managing a staff team as a well as supporting students on placement from Cumbria University. She has mentored many students and colleagues and remains a font of all knowledge. She has developed a girls group to support the need for young women to become more independent and challenge stereotypes. She has developed some key projects within the group. She has successfully written and developed a babysitting courses which she currently delivers to both young men and young women across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. Supporting young people in learning about children’s development, safeguarding, first aid, fire safety, boundaries and responsibility. Many young people who have attended her courses have progressed to nursing, children workers, play workers. Wendy is unique and has knowledge that could only be dreamt of, this type of commitment and experience can’t be taught in a classroom, but Wendy manages to mentor her colleagues to develop key skills in youth work and for this we at URPotential are truly grateful. She deserves this award to recognise her life time commitment to youth work she will always remain a very important woman in the field of youth work practice.

The prestigious black tie event is definitely one to mark down on your calendar and provides recognition for excellence regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture. Microsoft will be just one of the brands supporting a skyfall of diverse talent alongside joint Headline Sponsors Direct Line Group.
Paul Geddes, CEO, Direct Line Group said “We know that having a diverse workforce not only brings in more talent, it increases the variety of thinking, enabling us to have a better understanding of our customers’ needs in an ever-changing Britain.”
“The momentum is gathering pace” he continued “but there is more all businesses can do to pave the way for change. We are therefore honoured to be sponsoring the National Diversity Awards to celebrate the success of role models, businesses and organisations who are leading the way to true diversity and inclusion in our society.” Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s are supported by the likes of Stephen Fry, Adam Hills and Sir Lenny Henry amongst many.
TV Presenter Graham Norton Said “Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart which is why I am thrilled to support The National Diversity Awards! I want to wish all of this year’s shortlisted nominees the best of luck for the ceremony, you all deserve to win!’’
Previous winners include Huddersfield based Disability Theatre Group Shabang!, Freedom Fighting Refugee Aderonke Apata, and Transgender Support Charity Mermaids. Internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, Rachel looked back on her time winning the positive role model award in 2013 “It truly was a tremendously uplifting emotional evening, and I don’t think there was a single person in the room who would disagree with that! The evening represented everything that is good about our society”.
Rachel went on to receive the award for battling successfully against a potentially life limiting illness to produce works of art that are applauded worldwide. She continued “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating an exceptional night, the challenges ahead are still enormous, but with the ND Award in myh and, I will journey forward with renewed hope and ambition to try to do so much more, and in my efforts, hopefully I will, in some way, contribute to making the vital cultural shift within our society.”
Paul Sesay, Founder and CEO of The National Diversity Awards said “I am so proud to be able to witness the journeys of some of the most inspiring role models this country has to offer. Each year I am overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of nominations, and those shortlisted should know how privileged I am to share your stories with the nation. You are all winners and I can’t wait to meet you at the ceremony.”

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