A big ‘thank you’ from the Wychwoods Day Centre, and a request

The Day Centre for the elderly at the New Beaconsfield Hall has become a fixture within the Wychwoods for almost 20 years now. It seems unimaginable that its future is anything but assured. For nearly two years there has been the threat that Oxfordshire County Council would withdraw our grant as a result of budget cuts. The grant actually ceased in August 2017 and as it represents half of our costs, it has a major impact on our ability to continue. We are therefore so grateful for the donations already made to us from villagers all around the Wychwoods, which along with the Parish Councils and our local organizations have exceeded our expectations. They have allowed us to build a financial buffer, while we find a permanent solution. However, we still need every donation possible to reduce the shortfall of income we now have and alternative funds will be a necessity.

The Day Centre has continued to provide an invaluable service in the last year organised so effectively by our Coordinator, Katherine Gidman. It has again allowed the opportunity for elderly people to get out of the house and meet one day a week to enjoy companionship, a hot lunch and other refreshments, plus a range of activities. Needless to say, there is a waiting list for places and as soon as one becomes available it is filled.

Unfortunately, as highlighted in the last edition of The Wychwood, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteers for a number of local organisations. It is a problem, which preoccupies the Trustees of the Day Centre as well and is a more immediate issue than the loss of our grant. A pool of around 50 unpaid volunteers currently drive, cook and help keep the Day Centre operational on a rota basis and deserve a big ‘thank you’.

We would love to hear from anybody who might be prepared to drive some of our members once a month (it usually takes no more than half an hour), or who could attend once every couple of months for a few hours to either serve food previously prepared at home, or cook it on the premises. We also need helpers who can assist in ensuring that the daily routine of looking after and entertaining our members runs smoothly.

If you are prepared to give up some time to support the Day Centre, we are sure you would find it rewarding and with our thanks would ask that you contact:

• Katherine Gidman on 01993 831479/email to klgidman@gmail.com
• or Joanna van de Poll on 01993 830090/email to jvande1704@aol.com

As we move into uncharted waters with the loss of our grant, we must reiterate our thanks for the tremendous support from the local community and to reassure you all that with your help, the Trustees are determined to overcome the challenges ahead.

Chris George

October – November 2017