‘Team is testament to Newport Pagnell’s community spirit’

Jun 02, 2020

Brooklands Day Centre volunteers with Newport Pagnell Mayor Cllr Paul Day (2nd from left).

IT IS all smiles at The Brooklands Centre in Newport Pagnell, which has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The charity – independent, self-financing and  managed and run by volunteers –  has been providing services for older people in the Newport Pagnell area since the 1950s.

It works to help people retain their independence, live in their own homes and remain in the local community. It helps to maintain and improve people’s physical and mental well-being, reduce social isolation and support those living with dementia.

With its motto of ‘FOOD, FUN, FRIENDS for the over-55s’, Brooklands provides day centre groups that offer food and activities, special interest clubs, learning-based activities, trips and visits, and treatments that require an appointment.

The Brooklands Day Centre is used by around 300 people and over 70 volunteers contribute around 360 volunteer hours per week spending time with users, cooking meals, preparing and serving refreshments, running activities, organising groups, driving and escort duties, and providing admin support.

As well as the day clubs there are other groups including two seated exercise groups, tai-chi, a walking group, an art club, a friends group, a drop-in facility offering light refreshments, a bingo group, a gardening club, a book club, a singing group, a monthly lunch club and a group for those dealing with dementia and their carers.

Volunteers also provide transport for those who need it to get to the Centre, by driving the Centre’s own mini-buses and undertaking travel escort duties. Some volunteers have been with the Centre for up to 40 years and two are over 90 years old.

Brooklands’ volunteers continue to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. Many are keeping in touch with the Centre’s users by phone and providing support where it’s needed.

The Centre was nominated for the award by Newport Pagnell’s Mayor Cllr Paul Day. “I was delighted to nominate The Brooklands Centre for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, especially when my mayoral charity of the year was Dementia UK,” he said. “The centre is a wonderful facility and it provides fantastic services for older people in the local area. Its team of 70 volunteers is a testament to Newport Pagnell’s community spirit and is very much part of what makes the town so special.”

The Brooklands Day Centre’s chair of trustees Catherine Hall said: “We are extremely proud and honoured to receive such a prestigious award. It is a much-deserved reward for our team of 70 wonderful volunteers who give their time freely and whose outstanding work has contributed so much to our Centre.

“We are incredibly grateful and so privileged to have such a dedicated team. We cannot thank them enough for enabling us to achieve so much and making the work of the centre possible. We simply couldn’t function without them. Thank you to each and every one of them.”

Representatives of The Brooklands Centre will receive a certificate and a commemorative crystal from Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, later this summer and the trustees will organise a party to celebrate, once it is safe to do so. 

Two volunteers from the Centre will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s award from across the country.

by ANDREW GIBBS e: news@businessmk.co.uk

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