SCDF Announce Take Over of The Shining Lights Centre

Saints Community Development Foundation are delighted to announce the take over of The Shining Lights Centre in Sutton Manor

The Shining Lights Centre has been a vital part of Suttons community since its opening on the 14th March 2005 with it holding a wide range of local clubs and activities for the local community.

Steve Leonard, Saints Community Development Foundations Director mentioned:

“After a long Covid delayed process, Saints Foundation can finally announce a partnership with Sutton Manor Primary school which sees us taking over the Shining Lights Centre in Sutton Manor. The schools Headteacher Monica Gladman has made no secret of the fact that the school and its governors lead by Mr Ernie Benbow wanted the centre back open with community-based activities. I am glad to say that we are in a position, after discussions with most of the previous user groups to have them back on board and starting back very shortly if not already.”

“Alongside the existing partners we have several new programmes to be announced such as the Women’s Mental Health Programme which will cover health and fitness, our Fill Up their Senses mother and baby groups, Saddle up with the Foundation cycling group, light exercise sessions for the more mature, coffee mornings, crafty afternoons and heritage sessions to name but a few. We will also be opening the centre for bookings of parties and events, fetes and galas.”

“Recently refurbished training and education facilities allows us to provide courses and training events ranging from Social care, getting back into employment, Rugby League Coaching, Safeguarding, First Aid and much more.”

“Already we have announced the first Veterans HQ in the town at the Shining Lights which is a massive statement of intent towards the veterans of the Foundation. Again, the centre has allowed us to extend our Veterans of the Foundation Breakfast club meetings to three times per week incorporating a Saturday morning which will allow working veterans to meet up and enjoy the get together.”

“The centre will allow us to expand on our programmes delivered from the Community Zone at the stadium and we look at this move as our first stage of expansion.”

“There is so much to look forward to for the people in and around the Sutton Manor area and it is a massive thanks to Monica, Ernie and all the staff for allowing this to happen.”


Ernie Benbow, Chair of Sutton Manor Community Primary School Governing Body mentioned:

“When the Full Governing Body of our School made the decision to temporarily close the Shining Lights Centre in the summer of 2020 it was based on comments from users of the Centre which indicated that they would not return until Covid pandemic issues were clearer and substantially safer. This decision was not taken lightly but the impact of the pandemic and loss of income left us with little choice at that time.”

 “We were always committed not only to keeping the situation under constant review but also to a reopening of the Centre with a more robust, community centric and focused delivery from an organisation that fitted with the ethos of our community school and the local community once we were entirely satisfied that the matters of health, safety, risk management, wellbeing had been resolved to our satisfaction and met with the Covid legislative requirements and guidelines.”

 “It is, therefore, with considerable pride that we welcome the Saints Community Development Foundation to occupy the Shining Lights Centre under agreed contractual arrangements managed by the School that will not only benefit our school but also local hirers, the local community, and the wider St Helens community. We look to a long-standing arrangement with the Foundation that benefits the school and our pupils in addition to developing and enhancing delivery to our local community.”  

Monica Gladman Headteacher at Sutton Manor Primary School added:

“On behalf of the children and staff of Sutton Manor Community Primary School, I am delighted that we will be working in partnership with the Saints Community Development Foundation.  The opportunities that are to be provided for the children and families of Sutton Manor, and across St Helens, will have   huge benefits on their life chances, wellbeing and future development and happiness following a turbulent period both locally and nationally.”

 “We look forward to welcoming back our existing groups such as Taekwondo, Forest Tots with My Outdoor Classroom, cheerleading and other activities that have been put on hold and we are excited to welcome new and more varied activities for the whole of the community.” 

“All at Sutton Manor are proud to be involved with such as prestigious and well- known organisation, where we can enhance our vision: Sutton Manor- where children shine.”  

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