Christ Church Day Centre is ‘highlight of the week’ for the elderly

Volunteers and members at  Christ Church day centre   at Green lane, Stamford EMN-141106-161213009
Volunteers and members at Christ Church day centre at Green lane, Stamford EMN-141106-161213009

The new manager of a valued day centre for the elderly has outlined the services people can enjoy when they drop in for a visit.

Catrina Batey is the new co-ordinator at the helm of the Christ Church Day Centre, which runs every Wednesday from Christ Church in Green Lane, Stamford.

She is now fully up to speed with the running of the group and wants to bring even more people in to make use of its services.

The centre offers companionship, hot lunches, entertainment and transport to the elderly members of Stamford’s community.

Members are picked up from their homes in the morning and taken back in the afternoon, either by minibus or car.

For many members it is their only social interaction of the week and provides essential fellowship and a real sense of being a valued member of the community.

The programme is run almost entirely by volunteers, and covers its costs through a modest fee of £8 per member per day, as well as donations and various fundraising activities.

Since taking over the role from Amy Parker, Catrina has got to know the real value of the day centre and has enjoyed every minute of it. She said: “It is a wonderful job as I like working with the elderly, and it is very rewarding to know that we are providing a much needed service within Stamford.”

Catrina’s view is reinforced by many of the day centre members. Regular visitor Joan Rickett, from Edmonds Close, said that the day centre was “the highlight of my week”.

In addition to the weekly meetings, the day centre occasionally organizes special events and trips for its members. Recent outings have included the Stamford Town Centre Senior Citizens Concert, Magic of the Musicals by Wildcats Theatre School and Singing in the Rain at Stamford Corn Exchange.

Over the 40 years in which the day centre has operated, there have been several co-ordinators, including Janet Ingram, Jane Calderin and then Amy Parker.

Alongside Catrina, the co-ordinators have all been helped by a dedicated team of volunteers, some of whom help every week. Members of the Rotary Club also help regularly with the transport arrangements. And nearby schools are encouraged to get involved.

Catrina said: “I am truly thankful for all the current volunteers who give their time and energy so kindly to support the day centre.

“Without their immense dedication, we would not be able to run the programme. But more help is always welcome, even for a few hours just once a month.”

Help also comes from businesses and organisations in Stamford. One of the latest supporters is Café Nero, which is entering a sponsored team into the Robin Hood Half Marathon in Nottingham September. Donations are sometimes made in memory of a family member after a bereavement.

Catrina is always looking for new fundraising ideas and different forms of entertainment for members to enjoy.

She said: “It is wonderful when we get invited to events, as the day centre members still feel that they a part of the local community. We always welcome new entertainment so please do get in contact if this something with which you can help.”

The day centre has spaces available for new members. If you would like to find out more, either for yourself or someone you know, call Catrina on 01780 766446, extension 2.