Patrick ‘Paddy’ Gracey, a Wigan resident who is renowned for his work with vulnerable children with behavioural issues, is being forced to leave the land in Ince, Wigan, where his therapy centre has been based for 13 years, after losing a legal appeal.
Paddy is a talented horse trainer who uses non-violent techniques on abused and ill-treated animals to help mentor children, many of whom have emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. Local children can attend his equine therapy centre free of charge and Paddy also works closely with Wigan Council Children and Young People’s Service, Wigan Connexions and Newbridge Learning Community in Platt Bridge. He has also previously been asked to support Wigan Council in providing positive activities to engage young people, and divert them away from involvement in crime and anti-social behaviours.
Immediately next door to Paddy’s therapy centre is a disused school playing field belonging to Wigan Council; this field has been locked up and unused for approximately 10 years. This would be an ideal site for relocating the therapy centre, as it would allow Paddy Gracey to remain in the heart of this community where he is most needed.
Paddy has lived in this area of Ince with his family for over 25 years. The stable block where his therapy centre is based was built with a government grant of £19,000 from the Youth Opportunities Fund, which was awarded to Paddy’s daughter Shauna. In 2011, Shauna’s work at the therapy centre to improve the lives of children and young people was further acknowledged by an award from the Wigan Cultural Partnership of ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’.
We, the undersigned, call on the councillors of the Wigan Council to allow the outstanding work of Paddy Gracey’s therapy centre to continue by permitting it to be relocated to the adjacent disused school playing field.
We strongly believe that this is an amazing resource for the local community, which directly supports young people and families, giving them opportunities to achieve success and overcome their difficulties.
If no alternative location can be found for the centre, it will have to be destroyed along with its collection of rehabilitated and re-homed horses.
Wigan Council has already invested local/government funding and support for this project and continues to use the services provided at the therapy centre.
In order for these not to go to waste, we ask that councillors consider the evidence of Paddy's success, high level of local support for the project and engagement with the centre by allowing the disused school field to be used for this project by this local community.
The Save Paddy Gracey’s Training Centre petition to Wigan Council was written by helen allanson and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.