Colchester Borough Council and Age Concern Colchester are working together to improve facilities and services for older people in Colchester.
Age Concern Colchester recently opened its new centre on North Hill offering support services and activities for the borough’s older residents and their families. To support this initiative and align services, the council is working with Age Concern Colchester to bring its own activity centre currently in Lion Walk in line with this new facility.
The partnership provides a more sustainable way forward with a single, accessible town centre location, offering great support and activities for older people.
Under the agreement, the council will provide a two year grant to the registered charity to support their new facility and during October move the 180 members from Lion Walk, some of whom already use the charities’ new facility, to the Age Concern centre.
Simon Prestney, CEO of Age Concern Colchester said: “We are excited about the opportunity to support those in later years to live life better. The new centre will provide a warm welcome, great coffee and space for clubs and friendships to develop.
“The Veranda @ Age Concern Colchester links social clubs with our heavily subscribed Advice Service and extremely busy Befriending Unit. Once our conversion is complete The Veranda @ Age Concern Colchester will be a destination of choice for those in later years and we welcome the Lion Walk Community members and volunteers.
Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, Cllr Tina Bourne, said: “This partnership is a great way to ensure our older people can access the best possible services and support.
“There are now two facilities right on top of each other offering similar things and competing with each. Joining forces with Age Concern Colchester will provide a more sustainable future and means we can ensure our older people can access the most effective support services, find new friends and hobbies and generally get the best out of life.
“To support the transition of Lion Walk members into Age Concern Colchester’s new Activity & Support Centre and help the charity achieve all its ambitions for this new initiative we are providing a grant totalling £45,000 paid over two years.
“This partnership also mirrors the aims and objectives of the LiveWell AgeWell agenda to improve the health and wellbeing of older people, something both organisations are committed to.”
The alignment of the services between the council and Age Concern Colchester also reflects the drive of the council’s Better Colchester campaign to make Colchester an even better place to live, work and visit.
Among the support available at the Age Concern Colchester centre on North Hill are coffee clubs, computer courses, advice services, an extensive befriending unit as well as a free legal surgery and consumer advice.