Progress on ‘cliff-top sanctuary’ plan as meeting scheduled with National Trust and council chiefs

Meeting set to take place to discuss cliff top sanctuary idea
Meeting set to take place to discuss cliff top sanctuary idea
Share this article

A nurse determined to create a community hub to act as a clifftop sanctuary has lined up meetings with those in power in a bid to move his idea forward.

Phil Brown is set to meet with National Trust bosses and representatives from South Tyneside Council to discuss the plans and ideas he has been working on.

This is not something which will happen overnight, this will be a very slow process.

Phil Brown

Mr Brown is hoping to be given the go ahead to move on to the next stage of making his dream of opening a 24-hour community hub a reality.

The venue would operate as a coffee shop during the day with a community room for people to find out more about the history of Marsden.

At night, it would create a place for people to come and chat and for those who found themselves on the clifftops and in need of someone to talk to and a friendly ear to listen, a place they can come to.

It is understood the meeting will take place at the end of the month.

Mr Brown said: “Having this meeting is a starting point. And I’m grateful for their time to listen to what I have to say.

“What I’m looking at is having a community hub which would act as a drop-in centre, which would be open during the day and night.

“The possibilities could be endless with a place like this. It could be a place where people can come for first aid if they have an accident while at the seafront, but also a place where rescue teams could have a base, during operations.

“This is not something which will happen overnight, this will be a very slow process.

“But we have to start somewhere. I will sit and listen to what they have to say but I won’t give up.

“I will continue to carry on and see what we can achieve.”

Mr Brown is the man behind the marker post idea 14 years ago to help the emergency service crews called to rescue situations on the cliffs react more effectively.

The markers are numbered from one to 90 and start at The Groyne, near the Little Haven Hotel, ending at the old rifle range in Whitburn.

Over the years, he has come across a number of people who have been at the cliff edge.

He said: “I go out running at night and I have come across a number of people who have been at the cliff edge, lost in their thoughts and struggling with life.

“If we could have somewhere, where people who are struggling can go and just sit and have a cuppa and a chat, it could help to save their life.”