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Still at the centre of things

Age UK Ealing is taking over the running of Greenford Community Centre – keeping it a key part of life in the town.

The charity officially assumes control of the day-to-day management of the centre on 1 September but the building, in Oldfield Lane South, will continue to be owned by Ealing Council.

Councillor Ranjit Dheer, the council’s cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “With Age UK Ealing running the centre the council can ensure that it remains a facility at the heart of the community while being financially sustainable and helping to achieve its priorities around health, wellbeing and independence.

”It has worked with the council over the past few months to develop a vision for the centre that continues to meet the needs of residents.

“This includes keeping the centre as somewhere residents can use, improving accessibility to more of the building and setting up a community café. There will also be an increase in the number of day care services offered for older local residents.”

As well as running the community centre, Age UK Ealing will be providing a much needed day service from the building. The service will support older people with various levels of need, including early onset dementia and learning difficulties; or simply to help combat loneliness and social isolation.

There will be a variety of activities on offer, but the ever-popular ones such as chair-based exercises and current affairs will feature high on the menu. The service will continue to rely on its respected team of local volunteers to support the staff in their work at the centre.

Age UK Ealing visitors
Age UK Ealing visitors

Karen Robinson (pictured above), the joint chief executive of Age UK Ealing, said: “We have been looking for a base from which to deliver our day services for a very long time so we are delighted to be able to have this opportunity. There are plenty of drop-in and pop-in services throughout the borough which are, of course valuable; but there is nothing currently to provide the kind of holistic service that we have always delivered.

“We are currently operating three days per week with a huge waiting list so we will be looking forward to welcoming new people in to our day service. Being based at the community centre will mean that we can build on the relationships we have with the community and develop the inclusive work that we have always carried out.”

Business as usual

The site will still continue to provide community facilities for all, with Age UK Ealing keen to work with existing groups that use the centre – and new groups, too – as part of creating a comprehensive community programme for all. The priority will be to work with as many community groups as possible, enabling smaller groups to expand or continue as well as bringing in as many new activities as possible.

Meeting rooms will be available to hire on an hourly basis, half day from 8.30am to 12.30pm or 1-5pm; or full day from 8.30am to 5.30pm. The rooms can also be hired in the evening from 6pm onwards for board meetings, community activities or training.

Community café

Age UK Ealing’s plans include setting up a café which will become one of the main meeting spaces in the building. It will give users of the centre somewhere to meet while enjoying a bite to eat or drink. Importantly, the café will also provide a nutritious meal for users of Age UK Ealing’s day service.

Once established, the café could provide further services for older residents living locally through a ‘meals on wheels’ service, which is not currently available in Ealing. It could also provide opportunities for training and work experience for groups across the borough.

Age UK Ealing

Age UK Ealing provides free, independent and confidential advice. As part of ESAS (Ealing Specialist
Advice Service) it works alongside Ealing Mencap, Mind in Ealing and Hounslow, Deafplus and Ealing Centre for Independent Living.

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