Joseph Lappin Centre Opens

New Joseph Lappin Centre
Joseph Lappin's parents, Toni and John, with Mayor Joe Anderson and Lord Mayor, Councillor Sharon Sullivan at the newly-opened centre

A new community centre named in memory of Liverpool teenager Joseph Lappin has  opened.

Joseph, a 16-year-old Army cadet from Old Swan, was fatally stabbed outside a youth club in 2008.

The centre, in Mill Lane, Old Swan, is housed in the former Secondary Education Centre and is the first -of –its-kind community hub in the city. It has been taken over by a community consortium led by Deaf Active.

It now includes junior and senior youth clubs from Monday through to Friday, a meeting place for mums and tots, clubs for ‘glee’ classes, dance and drama, a new community led café offering low-cost healthy meals, advice and loans for business start-up, work place learning and business training as well as an outdoor multi-use games area for football and basketball.

Future plans include adding an older person club, an astro turf on the football area; and welfare reform and debt advice services.

Opening of Joseph Lappin
Joseph’s mother Toni, who officially opened the centre

The centre was officially opened  by Joseph’s mother, Toni, with the Lord Mayor, Councillor Sharon Sullivan and the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.

Toni Lappin said: “The launch of the Joseph Lappin Centre presents the area with a wonderful opportunity to create a fabulous facility for our neighbourhood, and I hope our residents will come together to take full advantage.”

“This is going to be a real community asset,” said Mayor Anderson. “Already local people have shown how much they will value it. They have had a community action day to paint and clean it and carry out some gardening work.

“It is an exciting development, not just for Old Swan but the whole city.

“And, above all, it is going to be a positive memorial to Joseph who lost his life in such tragic circumstances.”

The opening ceremony  formed part of a fun-packed activity day for the whole family which included rock climbing, football coaching, live music, drama and dance demos and face-painting.

The consortium involved in the centre includes Merseyside Disability Federation, Merseyside Expanding Horizons and Fusion and is working in partnership with the council’s Youth and Play Service.