Kettering Age UK day centre re-opens after lockdown closure

Age UK Northamptonshire has re-opened its day care centre in Kettering

By Phoebe Radford
Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 3:20 pm
The team at Kettering's Age UK day care centre
The team at Kettering's Age UK day care centre

Kettering's Age UK day care centre has re-opened after closing throughout lockdown.

The centre is based in Rockingham Road Baptist Church and is open Monday to Friday between 10am to 3pm to support isolated, lonely and vulnerable older people.

Mark Morgan, day care manager at Age UK Northamptonshire, said: "All the clients that have come back to day care are over the moon. We see them each morning coming in with smiles on their faces.

Visitors at Kettering's Age UK day care centre playing floor dominos

"The social contact, physical activity and mental stimulation have made a massive difference."

Visitors can enjoy a full day of activities including bowls, floor dominos, skittles, arts and crafts, bingo and music.

A two-course lunch is provided as well as refreshments.

Age UK Northants opened as soon as it was safe to do so because of the demand from visitors whose mental health and well-being had deteriorated during lockdown.

The charity is working closely with NCC and Kettering Council to ensure all Covid-19 regulations are adhered to and all visitors are kept safe.

Measures include temperature checks either on the Age UK Northants minibus or on arrival at the centre, a two metre social distancing rule, bubbles of six so visitors are always in the same groups, all Age UK staff wear masks and follow a strict cleaning regime.

Mr Morgan said: "We still have space in the centre so we’re encouraging people to get in touch and book a place."

The price of transport, a full day of professional care, activities and lunch is £45, or £33 without transport. Age UK is a charity and the day care is partly funded by a social well-being contract through NCC public health.

This contract is due to end in March 2021 and Age UK Northamptonshire wants to see a commitment to future funding to secure the service.

Chris Duff, chief executive of Age UK Northamptonshire, said: "Providing face-to-face day care is, and has always been, a top priority because we know the huge impact it has on the health of older people.

"We are able to provide care which helps older people to avoid frequent GP visits and unplanned hospital admissions.

"During a global pandemic, keeping our older population well and reducing the strain on NHS services should be even more of a priority to councils and public health."

Age UK, like many charities, has lost income through lockdown but was able to keep supporting vulnerable people through things like grocery and hot meal deliveries.

Mr Duff added: "With that in mind, we’re keen to see a financial commitment to keep our service running."

For more information about Age UK Northamptonshire, visit their website here or call 01604 611200.

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