History of the adult day centre in Twyford
In 1990 we took our first boat trip on the Thames at Henley
On a Wednesday afternoon in September 1988, after much thought and planning, the
first session of Twyford and District Age Concern for the frail elderly in the local villages
took place in Treacher Court in Twyford under the direction of Mrs Anne Greaves.
In February the following year a Friday group was formed and met for an all day session in Polehampton Court.
The activities provided were stimulating and varied and for many elderly in the local villages the
quality of their lives was greatly enhanced by the opportunity to join the sessions.
However, it was always the vision that Age Concern would have its own building and be able to
develop day care for the elderly ln the area.
Lady Elizabeth Godsal and Ann Greaves at the opening of the Centre, 1996
Over succeeding years, the people of Twyford and the surrounding villages had
supported Twyford and District Age Concern in their quest for their very own Day Centre.
Many sites were considered, but finally, after enormous fund raising efforts the Day Centre was built in 1996
in Polehampton Close on land donated by Wokingham District Council and named The Lady Elizabeth Centre,
after Lady Elizabeth Godsal, patron and president. The upstairs room and bathroom were added in 1997.
In 2011 work was started on the conservatory which was completed in January 2012.
The Centre was originally funded for three years by the Health Service and Social Services in a
joint finance contract which came to an end in September 1999. In October a new contract was agreed with the
Social Services Department at Wokingham District Council which guaranteed funding for the three
full care days that we offer, though we still have to generate income for the remaining two days.
The Day Centre is now open five days a week and has some paid staff but volunteers are still
needed to help and drive.
Ensuring our independence and presence in Twyford
The national organisations of Age Concern and Help the Aged merged to become Age UK in April 2009.
We had been affiliated to Age Concern for the purposes of receiving information and support,
but we had always been independent. We received no significant financial, administrative or
management support from the national charity (then Age Concern).
Following the merger, Age UK sought to change its relationship with us.
As a result on 4 April 2011 trustees met to decide on the following three options:
- Become a 'Friend of Age UK'. This would allow us to continue to be a part of the Age UK network,
remain independent and benefit from commission on the sale of Age UK products (e.g., insurance).
- Merge with other Age UK concerns in Berkshire. This would create a larger organisation.
We would lose our independence and our day centre would be governed and managed by Age UK (Berkshire).
- Retain our independence and local governance, working as we do at present and collaborating with
other similar organisations in the region.
The trustees unanimously opted for independence and local governance (Option 3)
for the following reasons:
- We believed in collaboration and the provision of services for the community by local people.
- Several large Age Concerns had opted for Option 3 (independence) and sought to collaborate
and support each other as successful local operations under the banner of 'Age Concern'
- We had developed a link with one of those organisations, Age Concern, Slough and Berkshire East (A-C S&BE),
principally through the shop in Twyford.
- Collaboration with A-C S&BE gives us access to advice, support and more advantageous trading arrangements.
- We had received very substantial support from local people and businesses through the Twyford Village Partnership.
- We would remain independent, local and in control of our own development and finances as well as retain the 'Age Concern' name.
- Independence guarantees continuity of our services in Twyford, whereas if we merged, it would be open to a
new organisation to consolidate and locate services elsewhere.