New oap centre could open by Christmas
A NEW £500,000 community centre for elderly people could be open in time for Christmas following almost a decade of planning.Age Concern has spent the past eight years pursuing a dream to provide a fully equipped facility to respond to the needs of a growing ageing population in and around Bury St Edmunds.
A NEW £500,000 community centre for elderly people could be open in time for Christmas following almost a decade of planning.
Age Concern has spent the past eight years pursuing a dream to provide a fully equipped facility to respond to the needs of a growing ageing population in and around Bury St Edmunds.
Last night the charity was celebrating after announcing an agreement has finally been made with a local developer for work to begin on the building.
It is hoped that the new day care and healthy living resource centre planned for Kempson Way in Bury, will be open before the end of the year.
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The new Oasis Centre will feature areas to promote and encourage healthy living, including spaces for a range of exercises and activity, resource and library areas, an internet suite, offices and training rooms.
It will also offer elderly people a lounge, dining and activity areas, community spaces, a fully equipped kitchen, a specialist bathing room, as well as hairdressing, therapy and chiropody facilities. There will also be patient and patio areas.
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Daphne Savage, the charity's chief executive, said: "The new centre, due to open at the end of 2004 or beginning of 2005, is the fulfilment of a dream that has been eight years in the planning. It is hoped that it will give older people in Bury and the surrounding area the facilities and care they deserve."
For more than 30 years, Age Concern Suffolk has run the Oasis Centre from the United Reformed Church in Bury's Whiting Street.
But the venue has not only restricted the level of care provided but its position has stopped any expansion of services.
The charity has now launched an appeal to raise the £500,000 needed to complete and fit out the new building and pay for the specialist equipment.
"We have plans to lease the building from the developer, but we are now desperately looking to secure funding to complete the project," said Mrs Savage.
"We are very excited about the new building and it will have great benefits for the elderly population. "This will allow us to improve on what we already do and provide better resources."
A total of £30,000 has already been raised and volunteers are being sought to hold activities and events to raise the rest of the money.
Mrs Savage said: "People can help out in any way they choose, whether it is from events, business sponsorship or donations."