Charity opens new conservatory at Higham Ferrers day centre

Serve's new conservatory: members of Serve pictured with representatives of local councils, charitable organisations that donated to the build and the Lord Lieutenant and his wife, Mr and Mrs David Laing
Serve's new conservatory: members of Serve pictured with representatives of local councils, charitable organisations that donated to the build and the Lord Lieutenant and his wife, Mr and Mrs David Laing

Charity Serve has opened its new conservatory at the Ron Manning day and activity centre in Higham Ferrers.

The new £26,000 building will enable Serve to offer a wider range of activities to those who use its day centre provision on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Lord Lieutenant David Laing speaking at the opening of Serve's new conservatory

Lord Lieutenant David Laing speaking at the opening of Serve's new conservatory

Speaking at the opening on Monday, September 16, Serve's chairman Alan Armson said: "We provide a lifeline for vulnerable people who can be lonely or isolated."

He said the opportunity to participate in activities offered by Serve and the support it offers elderly people can help maintain their independence and delay more intensive social care.

The new conservatory was officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, David Laing, who is the representative of the Queen in the county.

Mr Laing read his remarks from a card with an illustration of a door, which he said was "quite appropriate" because "you always get the feeling that Serve's door is open and open to the community".

Serve's chairman Alan Armson speaks at the opening ceremony

Serve's chairman Alan Armson speaks at the opening ceremony

Serve is a charity based in East Northamptonshire that supports people who want to remain in their own homes by providing different services, like personal and domestic care, community transport, a mobility shop, well-being classes and a day centre.

Serve's new facility at the Ron Manning day and activity centre was made possible by fundraising and generous donations from trust funds. Mr Armson extended his thanks for all the support Serve receives in his speech.

The charity received £10,000 from East Northamptonshire Council, £7,000 from the Elise Pilkington charitable trust, £5,000 from the Phillips charitable trust, £4,000 from the Bernard Sunley charitable foundation, £500 from the Alchemy foundation and £100 from the Sir Derek Greenaway foundation.

The centre is named after Ron Manning, who died in 1999 and had been recognised by the Evening Telegraph for his good citizenship in 1998. Ron had started a campaign to keep Higham Ferrers' streets clean and would be seen sweeping the streets from the early hours of the morning.

Lord Lieutenant reveals the commemorative plaque marking the opening of the conservatory

Lord Lieutenant reveals the commemorative plaque marking the opening of the conservatory

To pay tribute to Ron, it was decided the community centre not far from his home would be named after him.

The day centre's new facility will allow for new activities like a strength and balance class, which is NHS accredited and will help keep frailty at bay in older attendees.

The day centre is run by trained and qualified staff and volunteers who lead sessions in crafts, games, singing, seated yoga, movies and advice.

Those attending the day centre receive a hot meal and refreshments and can be provided with transport.

More can be found about the day centre at Serve's website.