Tree of life is Jim’s tribute

Jacci Vance with the bench and willow tree dedicated to her husband Jim
Jacci Vance with the bench and willow tree dedicated to her husband Jim

A FLEETWOOD community figure who helped a £400,000 dream become reality has been remembered at a special ceremony.

Jim Vance, who died in December, aged 55, lived on Martindale Avenue, next to the People’s Park which he helped create.

Jim Vance

Jim Vance

On the date of his 56th birthday a tree was planted and a bench was installed in the park with his wife Jacci and other family members looking on.

Some of the cost was footed by children from Charles Saer Primary School in conjunction with the young people’s Dream Scheme community organisation.

As onlookers braved driving rain to see the tree planted, Mrs Vance said: “It’s very nice to have this: it’s beautiful.

“Right from when they started on the park Jim was on the committee. He was involved at every stage.

“He was also involved in the Dream Scheme after-school club which is why Charles Saer decided to help out. This park really was his baby.

“Now this is a nice place to come and sit – you can see everything growing and watch the kids on the play equipment.”

Chairman of West View Community Association, Andrew Martin, said: “Jim was very well thought of on the estate: he made a big contribution.

“He was vice chairman of the community association, he was involved in the allotments association and also the Dream Scheme for young people. It’s good to be able to make this tribute.”

Charles Saer teacher Cis Short said: “We were looking for a project and one of our girls who is a member of the Dream Scheme suggested we could help provide the bench. The children did it by making and selling fridge magnets.

“This has been a genuine project with an end result.”