Mayor’s message of thanks

Report by Ken Powell

Mike Starkie congratulated staff at Age UK   Photo supplied by Copeland Borough Council

Mike Starkie congratulated staff at Age UK
Photo supplied by Copeland Borough Council

THE Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie, along with several borough councillors congratulated the staff and volunteers at Egremont’s De Lucy Centre for the “important role” they play in the community.

Age UK’s Health and Well-Being manager, Peta Leigh, invited the mayor to attend the centre’s open day on Friday 15 April to see just what goes on for older people and the services they provide.

She said: “Our aim is to increase the use of the centre and although we already have some fantastic volunteers we would like to recruit some more.”

The council’s new Social Inclusion policy was agreed on and approved earlier in the month and through the policy the council will be working with Age UK to help reduce the isolation experienced by many of the older generation.

The Mayor of Copeland was impressed by what he saw saying, “After spending the morning there talking to staff, volunteers and visitors to the centre I can see the important role a hub like this is for the community – and the opportunities it provides to help more older people to benefit from more social activities, which in the long run can support independence and wellbeing.”

The De Lucy Centre hosts a number of regular sessions including IT, craft classes, games sessions and a community garden at the back of the building.

Peta Leigh added “As well as being used for IT sessions, our IT suite is used by Phoenix Centre to support unemployed people, also by Adult Education to run computer courses and it can be hired out for meetings.

“There are two other rooms that can be hired out for meetings and are used regularly by Credit Union and Citizens Advice. Home Group also have a weekly drop in session for their customers and café area where people can drop in for a coffee with an information resource section.”

Over the whole of West Cumbria last year, Age UK dealt with 6,762 enquiries on their helpline, helped people claim back a total of £624,656 in additional benefits income and provided activities to enhance social inclusion for 8,373 older people.