Age Concern (Chelmsford) is a small independent charity first established over 50 year ago to provide a Day Centre, Luncheon Club and the opportunity to participate in other social activities. These include:
• bingo twice a week,
• arts and craft classes,
• a number of outings to the coast and
other attractions during the year,
The charity was established for use by the older residents of Chelmsford and the surrounding district and is the successor organisation to Chelmsford Old Peoples Welfare Committee which was originally founded in 1948
Our Day Centre offers light refreshments in the morning and provides a freshly cooked nutritious two-course meal at a very reasonable cost. We operate five days a week throughout the year, excepting the normal Bank Holidays at Christmas and Easter and as far as we can ascertain,
As far as we are aware, Age Concern (Chelmsford) is one of only one or perhaps two organisations in the Chelmsford Borough Council’s area offering a daily meal to our older residents. There are similar organisations that offer meal facilities but these only operate once a week or once a month.
We are currently preparing and serving something in the order of just under 7,400 two-course meals annually, including a small number of meals for staff and volunteers.
Age Concern (Chelmsford) provides a portal to Age Concern (England) for our service users both at a regional (Age Concern – Essex) and national level. Although the charity is named “Age Concern (Chelmsford), we are not federated to the national charity “Age Concern (England)” although we enjoy a cordial relationship with their Essex regional office.
We provide leaflets and advice on a whole range of issues of importance to the elderly We also have good links with Help the Aged and act as a contact point for some services they offer including their “Handy-Van” scheme.
We work closely with a number of other organisations linked to the elderly including Age Concern (Essex), with whom we are currently working up the outline of what is anticipated to be an exciting project, with the local Mental Health Trust, Maldon Carers, the Mid-Essex Stroke Club (who use our premises for their weekly activities), Dial-a-Ride and Community Transport.
In August 2006, we started providing lunch and meeting facilities for the Royal Association for Deaf People whose own lunch club in adjoining premises has had to close. About 40 of their members come to us for lunch currently twice a month and we continued to provide meals for them during 2007 and this year 2008.
Our organisation offers opportunities for persons to become involved as volunteers or Trustees and to contribute to the valuable work we do. We also provide work experience opportunities for students of Chelmer College as part of their Health and Social Care course. We have strong links with the Chelmsford Council for Voluntary Service.
We work with Essex Police Training Centre and provide community based “on the job” training facilities for Essex Police. Probationary police officers spend a couple of days with us as part of their structured training course.
During 2007 we participated, with similar organisations to our own, in a joint project with the Environmental Health Department of Chelmsford Borough Council for which funding had been successfully applied for from the Food Standards Agency. This investigated, amongst other things, food safety in the home and the nutritional needs of the older person. One of our Trustees is a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, formally Head of Environmental Health (Commercial) with Westminster City Council. He has recently been elected to serve on the Council of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health as a Trustee.
Our facilities meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act in that the main dining / meeting / activity room, lounge area, sanitary accommodation including a purpose designed disabled toilet, are all at ground floor and on one level and the upper meeting room can be accessed by a stair lift. The stair lift was recently replaced with a new model (the previous example having been in use for over 27 years) following our successful application to Essex County Council Community Initiatives Fund for a grant towards the cost.
VOLUNTEERING – COME AND HELP US:
We rely on our unpaid volunteer helpers to keep our organisation going and to support our small number of full and part time staff. Many of our volunteers have been with us for many years but we can always use extra help so if you are interested contact us at:
The Age Concern (Chelmsford) Day Centre (Details below “Contact Us)
The Volunteer Centre Chelmsford
59 New Street
Tel. 01245 283606
Fax. 01245 283607
Note: If you offer your services as a volunteer you may be required to provide references and / or must be prepared to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check.
This is a requirement of the Charity Commissioners because you would be working with “vulnerable” persons