New centre for elderly

ELDERLY residents in a seaside town have received the key of the door – and are looking forward to tea and chat at their new drop-in centre.The new community building has been officially handed over by the builders and next week will officially open for business.

ELDERLY residents in a seaside town have received the key of the door – and are looking forward to tea and chat at their new drop-in centre.

The new community building has been officially handed over by the builders and next week will officially open for business.

Senior citizens moved out of their wooden century-old day centre a year ago into temporary accommodation, at the resort's United Reformed Church, to make way for demolition gangs who bulldozed the old building to the ground.

The property had reached the end of its life and needed huge sums spent on it to bring it up to modern standards and even more work would have been likely within a few years.


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Now in its place they have brand spanking new modern premises designed to meet their needs and with full disabled access.

While the elderly will use the building during the day, in the evenings it will be used for meetings and by various groups and organisations. The added bonus is that it also features four flats – desperately-needed social housing in the town centre for couples and single people.

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Broadway House in Orwell Road is a partnership project between the town council, Felixstowe Old People's Welfare Association (FOPWA) and Orwell Housing Association, and has been attracting national interest.

Many local authorities around the country are considering setting up similar arrangements to provide community facilities and extra housing.

In a special ceremony, Richard Baird, director of builders Elliston Steady and Hawes, handed over the keys to Steve Chrissal of Orwell Housing Association, who prompty passed them to mayor Don Smith.

After officially opening the building, Mr Smith passed the keys to Richard Holland, chairman of FOPWA, the council's tenants.

Mr Holland said the new building was "very impressive" and the association, which had run the previous centre for more than 25 years, was looking forward enormously to moving in. It would open its doors next Monday .

"This building will be greatly appreciated by hundreds of users – when I say that we serve 25,000 cups of tea a year you will understand how popular the day centre is," he said.

"None of this would achievement would have been possible without the close co-operation and support and sense of common purpose between Felixstowe Town Council and ourselves, the association."

The building had been lowered two feet to remove the need for ramps for people with disabilities, so they can walk straight in or park disabled buggies in front of the premises.

All the community groups which used the centre would be returning and there were still slots for a few more.

Mr Smith said: "The building is splendid and far better that we had dared wish. It is light and airy and modern and I am sure will prove a wonderful facility."

What do you think of the new centre? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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