Henley Lions Help Bluebells Day Centre Expand by Funding More Chairs

Bluebells Day Centre which provides social engagement, activities and care for people suffering with Dementia and related disabilities has expanded this week offering two more places thanks to Henley Lions who have funded two more specialist arm chairs.

Henley Lions funded the original 12 chairs in 2019 when the then Mayor, Councillor Glen Lambert set-up and reopened the centre as a charity after Oxfordshire County Council cut their funding to Age UK Oxfordshire who ran the centre.

The centre is open on Mondays and Thursdays between 10.30-3.00pm with lunch provided.  The guests enjoy a full programme which includes singing, quizzes, arts and craft, games and trips out.

Henley Lion’s Secretary Dave Murray said, “Lions have been supporting Bluebells for years and years even before it was taken over by Age UK so we were instrumental in helping them get going again.  It’s a cause we’ve supported for a long, long time.  It is not only the chairs; but we support with boat trips on Rivertime twice a year.  It’s a lovely local cause used by local people and it also helps the carers to give them time to do other normal things. Henley Lion, Pam Phillips added, “Visiting today I felt quite emotional because it is our community. We’ve raised the money through lots of events in the town so we can help members of our community with the chairs. I’ve sat in one and they are really comfortable.  There is a real need for Bluebells and there’s currently a waiting list.”

Bluebells Centre Manager, Suri Poulos said, “We needed to expand because we have a waiting list and we had the space to expand so this has been a good solution to move it to 14 guests per day.  We couldn’t have done it without these chairs as our guests are frail and they are with us all day so they need a comfortable but expensive arm chairs.  We are so grateful that the Lions could step in.  We’re a self-funding charity and there wasn’t the funds for these chairs.  We’ve reduced the waiting list but we still have one.”

The Centre is looking for volunteers to help, ideally half day, morning or afternoon on Mondays and/or Thursdays.  Suri added, “It’s a lovely way to spend your time.  It so fulfilling and as you get to know the people you become very friendly with them and they are so appreciative of everything you do.  We’re not looking for care skills, we’re just looking for nice socialable and warm people who enjoy being with elderly people.  We’ll fill in the care skills that are needed because we are trained.  It’s a very enjoyable atmosphere and a fulfilling way of giving back to the community.”

More details about Bluebells can be found here https://bluebellsdaycentre.org.uk/


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