The old Blackburn Fire station is being transformed into an 'Inspiration Station' for those with special care needs.

Community interest company, Personalising Freedom, and charity, Rummage Rescuers, are turning the disused space into a free meeting place for those with care needs and disabilities.

When the centre opens next year, users will be able to take part in recreational activities and learn new life skills which will help them become more independent.

Director of Personalising Freedom, Liz Crook, said: "This is a project that will bring all community members together to develop the current building for a much better use.

"We will be part funding this project alongside other funding streams, and in the coming months we will be asking for volunteers to help with manual decorating labour and furniture moving.

"Already we've had floods of support from local residents and Network Rail have volunteered their muscles to also help out.

"Graham and Brown are supplying paint and materials and together we will make the building ready for opening. It’s a real community project."

Earlier this year, Personalising Freedom launched 'The Care Station' which offers people in Blackburn with Darwen who need extra care and help a direct payment budget support service.

Following on from the success of that, 'The Inspiration Station' will open in the Old Fire Station on Byrom Street in March.

Mrs Crook plans to have a room downstairs for recreational activities and a meeting place upstairs for learning about daily living skills, which is hugely important for those who want to reside alone in the future.

Mrs Crook said: "The Inspiration Station is about supporting those with care needs in poverty and who can’t afford to pay for travel or pay to access activities.

"This will hopefully be a free resource (donation if people can afford) and will meet lots of needs, reduce isolation and provide a place where people can choose their activity; choice is key so people feel happy and empowered."

Businesses and residents in Blackburn with Darwen have already donated a pool table, and musical instruments to the project but Personalising Freedom still needs a little more help.

If anyone would like to get involved or donate items email