Campaigner hopes for meeting over South Shields clifftop sanctuary plan

A campaigner who wants to create a 24-hour community base in a bid to reduce clifftop tragedies in South Tyneside is hoping to win backing for his idea.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 11:40 am
Marsden Bay Cliffs.

The National Trust, which looks after The Leas in South Shields, says it is willing to meet Phil Brown to discuss his proposal further.

Mr Brown, a trained nurse, was behind a marker system which directs emergency services more effectively to rescue situations on the cliffs.

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Now he hopes to make progress with his plans to create a community hub which would be a coffee shop during the day, with a craft room where youngsters could learn about the environment and history of Marsden.

At night it would become a place for those needing a friendly ear, support and advice.

While the National Trust says it is unable to comment on the plans at this stage, it is willing to meet him to discuss the idea.

Mr Brown is hoping, if his plans get the support, to recruit 90-100 volunteers to support the work which will be done at the hub.

He said: “I retire in three weeks and then I will be able to devote more time to trying to make this happen.

“It’s great the National Trust are willing to meet with me to listen to what I have to say, and hopefully something positive will come from it.

“I know everywhere is struggling for cash, which is why I am looking into what funding is available to help pay for this, but it would also be great to see businesses come on board.

“It is something which is needed and could go a long way in helping to save lives, and save families the heartache and trauma of dealing with a death which could have been prevented.”

The number of incidents at the beauty spot prompted the creation of the emergency coastal marker post system, and has also led to the idea of a clifftop sanctuary.

Mr Brown added: “By pulling together we can make a difference.”