Former Pendle councillor offers to open up countryside retreat to Ukraine refugees

A former Pendle councillor has offered to open up log cabins at his countryside retreat for people fleeing the crisis in Ukraine.

By Dany Robson
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 9:10 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 9:11 am

Frank Wren, and his wife Christine, have run Boothman Park in Barley site for around 40 years, offering recreational activities in the stunning countryside of Pendle.

When he heard of the people fleeing the Russian invasion, Frank, 73, immediately contacted the Foreign Office and offered his site for Ukrainian citizens, expected to be mainly women and children, to come and stay there as a stopping point.

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Boothman Park, Barley.

“I have been involved in politics for a long time, as a Liberal Democrat and a Conservative and now I am a Social Conservative – I put people in front of everyone,” said Frank.

“I have spoken to the Foreign Office and offered my site and it’s now in their hands.

“I have four properties, log cabins, and if needs be I can bring caravans in. They have said they need stopping points, especially for women and children, before they find them somewhere more permanent to live.

“For around 10-15 years we have opened up our site to others to appreciate the countryside we have here. We have provided accommodation for Syrians and Afghans, we have had people from all over the world coming here, and it’s only right to offer what we have to the Ukrainian people now.

“We have been involved in a number of charities to do this. My wife is chairlady of New Neighbours, a community-based charity providing support to asylum seekers and refugees in Burnley.

“We also have links through Pennine Oaks Charity and have links with charities in Blackburn so the Asian community can visit our site.

“It’s all about putting people first and at Boothman Park we have the chance to help people who are in desperate need of our help during terrible times. It will be at a cost to me but that doesn’t matter.

“We can’t just turn away from it, we have all got to do our bit.

“Once we get the go-ahead to be used a stopping point for Ukrainians fleeing the war, then we will need volunteers to help us and it would be great if people would contact Boothman Park and offer their help.”