The centre helps provide for the wellbeing of elderly people in Thorne by providing facilities to statutory authorities and voluntary groups. The services that run in the centre provide mental health support, as well as physical and recreational activities. The centre is a purpose-built facility with disability friendly access and is fully equipped for the needs of the local community.
The centre is a vital community hub used by a significant number of local groups including the Thorne 1940s Weekend event, the Summer Fair, the Over 60’s Group, Monthly Police meetings as well as private functions. All these groups and events are dependent on the centre as it is centrally located and has easy and safe access for all attending. The centre plays a key role in helping to reduce social isolation for elderly individuals in the area, by helping to support their interests and run social activities.
The centre also arranges trips for some of their elderly visitors with a trip having recently been organised for about 60 people, a large increase over previous trips they have arranged.
The centre has received 3 grants over the last 3 years, all from the Tween Bridge Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund, with the grants totalling £13,857. The first grant which they received in January of 2016 allowed them to install 5 new security shutters to help with the prevention of vandalism to the building, amidst a period in which two of their windows had been broken. The centre’s second grant, awarded in February 2017 was used to improve the cavity wall and loft insulation to meet modern building regulations.
These improvements also resulted in a reduction in the centre’s insurance and heating costs which has freed up funds which can now be reinvested to help promote the centre.
The centre’s third grant was awarded in March 2018 to replace old, dangerous and dilapidated carpeting and furniture at the centre.
This has helped to improve the overall quality and presentation of the centre which has now attracted new users. These changes were especially important as the old carpeting was a danger for the elderly people who regularly make use of the centre as it was coming away from the underlay and had become a trip hazard.
The Centre’s Chair Linda Kinloch said: “The centre has moved on so much due to the funding and has been boosted with the improvements being to everyone’s advantage.
“We don’t know how we could have moved on with the centre without funding and we don’t know where else we could have looked for the amount of help we have received.”
In the future, Thorne’s Old People’s Welfare Centre would like to further increase their appeal to younger age groups and have already begun to set up mother and toddler groups. Similarly, their current martial arts classes are already fairly popular, and they would like to potentially pursue expanding the availability of these and similar sessions to help gain further interest from younger people in the community.
The centre is continually looking to improve even after all of its recent developments. In the near future, they are hoping to replace old lighting with modern LED low power light fittings throughout the centre, which should allow them to save a considerable amount. Furthermore, it will again help to improve the presentation of the centre, whilst also reducing the centre’s environmental impact.