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SOS for high street led by Ribchester’s WI

Deb Groves, president of Ribchester WI which is promoting 'SOS High Street' in Longridge which is part of a national campaign by the Institute.

Deb Groves, president of Ribchester WI which is promoting 'SOS High Street' in Longridge which is part of a national campaign by the Institute.

A second campaign to promote shopping in Longridge is following hard on the heels of this paper’s ‘Shop, Eat and Play Local’ promotion launched earlier this year.

The WI’s national campaign ‘SOS for High Streets’ hit Longridge in February through the town’s nearest branch in Ribchester and its president, Deb Phillips.

After she explained the scheme to Longridge Town Council, the Business Group and traders in the town, it has gone from strength-to-strength.

“It’s been great how businesses have recognised the value of what the WI has organised throughout the country - many telling me ‘this is just what we need’” Deb told the News.

“Many of them now have our posters in their windows.”

“We are promoting the national campaign and, although Ribchester and District WI is leading this in the local area, we represent the other five or six WIs which surround Longridge.

“Our aim is to demonstrate our support for Longridge and to get members to continue to support it. We think Longridge is thriving at the moment, and our campaign is designed to help to keep it that way.

“We are aware that any decline - eg, shops falling empty - can escalate very quickly and we definitely want to help to keep it the lovely facility it is.”

The Longridge area boasts over 250 WI members, the Lancashire Federation more than 6,500.

Although Longridge branch closed several years, members joined neighbouring branches. They are now organising the WI marquee for the Goosnargh and Longridge show next month.

Last year was a record year for financial support for this marquee and, as a member of the newly-formed subcommittee to organise the show raffle, Deb feels such a direct link between the WIs and the show will see that link grow.

 

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