Day cen­tre for el­derly closes after 38 years

Church changes forces group’s exit

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­

VOL­UN­TEERS have closed a day cen­tre for el­derly peo­ple who need spe­cial care be­cause of changes im­ple­mented by a church.

The Wed­nes­day Club, an Age Con­cern group at Gold Hill Bap­tist Church hall in Chal­font St Peter, has served the com­mu­nity for 38 years.

The church in Gold Hill East will launch a larger se­niors club from 10.30am to 2pm on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 24.

How­ever, vol­un­teers say the scheme is not suit­able for their mem­bers, many of whom have the begin­nings of de­men­tia.

Vol­un­teer of 14 years, Chris­tine Bailie, said: “Over the years the Wed­nes­day Club has been the high­light of the week for many guests.

“The pro­posed changes that the church was seek­ing were felt by all the vol­un­teers to be in­com­pat­i­ble with the com­plex needs of the reg­u­lar guests.”

Mrs Bailie feels her club, which has longer hours and fewer mem­bers, is bet­ter suited to care for its mem­bers than the new group. She is part of a team of 21 vol­un­teers who took care of 19 el­derly peo­ple.

The church told the club it would need to find al­ter­na­tive premises.

The club held its last meet­ing on Au­gust 27 and has since searched for another com­mu­nity venue but so far none has been able to of­fer a full day.

The vol­un­teers pro­vide a full day of care to give fam­i­lies look­ing after the el­derly peo­ple some respite and to en­cour­age mem­bers to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with helpers.

Mrs Bailie added: “Our el­dest guest was 99 and it would have been very spe­cial to have had our first cen­te­nar­ian after all th­ese years.”

Mrs Bailie and Bar­bara Herod, who has been lead vol­un­teer for the past 20 years, thanked all the helpers, mem­bers and their fam­i­lies who have sup­ported the group.

Gold Hill pas­tor James Sim­mons says the church is ‘com­mu­nity-minded’, adding: “One of the huge needs that has been high­lighted is that of a real sense of lone­li­ness among se­niors.

“We use our fa­cil­i­ties care­fully and want to see that need met.

“We are re­ally pleased that all the peo­ple that were at the day cen­tre group have been in­vited to the new se­niors’ day and many of them have taken up that op­por­tu­nity.”


BIG PULL: Vis­i­tors to Chiltern Open Air Mu­seum can watch work­ing heavy horses cul­ti­vate the land this week­end

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