Helen Newlove has vowed this week that she will continue to fight back by throwing all of her energy into her Newlove Warrington campaign following the brutal murder of her husband Garry two years ago.
As the charity's one-year anniversary approaches next month, Helen told JMU Journalism: “My life has been destroyed, I’ve lost Garry and the kids have lost their father but I won’t let them win. I won’t sit down and be walked over anymore.”
Helen has been a strong advocate for making communities a safer place ever since the shocking murder of her husband back in August 2007 outside their Warrington home whilst Garry and Helen’s daughters looked on in horror. Three men were convicted of murder in 2008.
Helen has also revealed that preparations to build a £5m youth centre are under way in the town where she and her three daughters live. Helen hopes that the Youth Centre will become a sanctuary for young adults and is Helen’s first step in her bid to eradicate Warrington’s yob culture.
She said: “There’s a lot of money [being] wasted that isn’t going into the right pockets of Children’s Services and that frightens me.”
Helen has adopted the idea to build a leisure centre-come-safe-house from neighbouring North West towns such as Bolton, and she is taking steps to bring the initiative to Warrington.
She said: “It’s a huge youth club, it’s the size of a football stadium.”
The land for the development has already been chosen and is thought to be located in an easily accessible area for all. The centre will have many physical activities on offer as well as providing Warrington youths with a ‘safe house’ by way of giving individuals an alternative to wandering the streets.
Helen said: “In Bolton, they get 3,000 kids off the street per week and it’s open until 10pm at night. The kids pay £5 a year and 40p entrance. You name it, they’ve got it. There’s an NHS Nurse Drop-in service they can go to and they can have a home-cooked, healthy, hot meal for 50p. My main aim is to bring that to Warrington.”
As well as working with ex-offenders and alcohol awareness campaigns such as Bar Code, this year saw the launch of temporary radio station, Newlove FM, which ran for two weeks over the summer.
Helen said: “Garry was a DJ, he was passionate about music and we just thought it was a fitting legacy as a first project to set up a radio station.”
Helen remembers the launch of Newlove Warrington as being a proud event in her life, though it is yet to be registered as an official charity. Many celebrities, such as Peter Kay, attatched their name to the initiative and have stayed loyal to the campaign ever since.
She said: “The launch was a fantastic evening. It’s about a legacy for Garry – the person and not the murder victim.”
Helen is working day and night to stamp out the stigma attached to the younger generations by tackling issues head-on and helping people make the right choices.
Over the past year, Helen has transformed the image of the Newlove name, into a pro-active force for good within Warrington and nationally. Winner of the Cheshire Woman of the Year Awards 2009 and Best Magazine’s Bravest Woman of the Year 2008, her efforts have received national acclaim and her work is acknowledged by Downing Street.
Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, is also a huge supporter of her work and Helen travels to London often to keep him updated with the progress of the campaign.
Helen said: “It’s great to be involved with the community.”
By Liz Hewitt
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