REGULAR users of a day centre for elderly people with disabilities have been given a helping hand by the Heart of England Co-operative Society.
The retailer has awarded £500 to Coundon Day Centre which provides social activities for elderly people who may otherwise find themselves in isolation from society.
Opening its doors 32 years ago at Coundon Methodist Church, and moving to Allesley Park Community Centre earlier this year, the facility provides an invaluable lifeline to elderly people with varying disabilities, including blindness and dementia.
Today it caters for some 28 members aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s. The oldest member is 98, with some six or seven more also in their 90s.
Most members come from Coundon and Allesley, with others from the wider Coventry area.
The money is being put towards the running costs of the day centre’s minibus which is used to transport members between their homes and the centre.
It has come from the Helping Hearts Awards Scheme, in which the retailer ploughs a percentage of its profits into charities and worthy causes across the trading area of Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.
“It is only with the support of such caring people, and indeed organisations like the Heart of England Co-operative Society, that we are able to achieve our aims and change lives for the better,” said the centre’s fundraiser Jean Pellow.
The annual running cost of the centre is just short of £85,000, including staff salaries, the minibus, and meals and entertainments which are laid on for members every time they visit.
Half the running costs are sourced by the centre through numerous appeals for funding, the other half comes from member subscriptions.
“Finding half of £85,000 a year is no mean feat,” Jean added.
“Indeed our team of 12 volunteers– who assist us with driving responsibilities, helping to serve meals and generally befriending our members – is also vital.”
“People are living longer and our centre is a real lifeline for so many, helping them to obtain a better quality of life.”