Day care centre faces closure

A DAY care centre for elderly people opened by Dame Norma Major needs just one more volunteer or could face the possibility of closure. The Somersham and District Day Centre, a registered charity, has been running for 16 years, offering a day out with lun

A DAY care centre for elderly people opened by Dame Norma Major needs just one more volunteer or could face the possibility of closure.

The Somersham and District Day Centre, a registered charity, has been running for 16 years, offering a day out with lunch for elderly and disabled people.

The group meets at the Victory Hall, Somersham, and there are currently some 19 people in the club.

The club currently has three volunteers but their average age is 70, one of them is aged 80, and the club's most recent organiser resigned after a year.

Spokesman and volunteer, Ann Smukums, 73, said: "I have been the organiser twice and I heard some of the elderly people saying that they hoped that I would take it over again rather than the club close down because they are really worried about it, but I think the organiser should really be someone younger."

She added: "People really enjoy coming to the centre. For some of them, it is the only time they go out. Some of them are from a residential home but others are living in their own homes and they really look forward to their Thursdays."

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Mrs Smukums said that during the school holidays, the group uses a specially-adapted mini-bus with a platform that can be lowered to take wheelchairs and they go out to lunch, which the members really enjoyed.

"The volunteers get here about 8.40am and we leave when the members leave. We serve the lunches and organise games and entertainment.

"Everyone has a good time and it would be a real shame if we had to close down. We are looking for someone who has experience with working with elderly people and would enjoy being our organiser."

INFORMATION: If you think you could step in as the organiser for the Somersham and District Day Care Centre, contact Ann Smukums on 01487 840010. Volunteers need to be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau and are reimbursed for expenses.

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