Campaign to turn The Beatles' Strawberry Fields into hub for young people

A fundraising campaign has been launched to transform the children's home made famous by Beatles' song Strawberry Fields Forever.

The Strawberry Field home in Woolton, Liverpool, was made famous by John Lennon's song, released 50 years ago.

The Salvation Army now hopes to turn the site, where Lennon used to play as a child, into a training and work placement hub for young people with learning disabilities.

To mark the launch of the fundraising campaign, a choir, formed of people who could benefit from the plans, recorded a special version of the song at Abbey Road studios.

Major Drew McCombe, divisional leader for The Salvation Army, North West, said: "Lennon grew up close to Strawberry Field, and gave generously to the home as soon as he got his first pay cheque.

"He also had a vision for it, expressed in the song, as a place where anybody, whatever their personal background and difficulties, could realise their dreams.

"Strawberry Field has the potential to bring that vision to life; changing the lives of young people with learning disabilities, who find it difficult to find gainful employment, as well as encourage more projects similar across the UK."

TV presenter Paul O'Grady has given his support to the project.

He said: "I'm sure John Lennon would be smiling down on this project.

"As the song lyrics say, 'Living is easy with eyes closed' - hopefully this campaign will open people's eyes so they see the many individuals living alongside us that aren't being given the support they need to thrive and flourish."

Funds raised by the campaign will go towards creating the hub for young people with learning disabilities as well as a new visitor experience based on the place, song and Lennon's early life.

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