New dawn for Harpenden seniors club

PUBLISHED: 20:01 11 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

Alan Cox, chairman of the Harpenden seniors forum, with Joan Bartholemew, widow of the comedian Eric Morecambe, at the official launch

Alan Cox, chairman of the Harpenden seniors forum, with Joan Bartholemew, widow of the comedian Eric Morecambe, at the official launch

A FULL house of volunteers turned out last week to launch the newly-named Harpenden Seniors Club. The name has been changed from the Harpenden Day Centre to make it more accessible to elderly people in the town. And it coincides with the building in Leyto

A FULL house of volunteers turned out last week to launch the newly-named Harpenden Seniors Club.

The name has been changed from the Harpenden Day Centre to make it more accessible to elderly people in the town.

And it coincides with the building in Leyton Road undergoing major modernisation which has seen a new heating system installed, the purchase of new chairs and repainting.

Club chairman Ken Jenkins, said: "This is more than just a change of name for the day centre. The seniors club should have broad appeal to the town's retired community.

"It offers a convenient venue for meeting old friends and forging new friendships. It also provides, under one roof, a range of facilities that senior citizens appreciate; light refreshments, lunch, chiropody, ladies' and gents' hairdressing, recreational opportunities for the mind or body and simple relaxation."

More redecoration and other improvements have still to be completed and on the horizon - albeit four years or more away - the club should get an entirely new building hand-in-hand with the redevelopment of the former James Marshall House.

County council chairman, Cllr Bernard Lloyd, proposed a vote of thanks to all the volunteers who had run the day centre's many activities and would now be equally involved in operating the seniors club.

The centre was opened in October 1976 and has been run entirely by volunteers who numbered 74 at one time and are currently running at over 50.

n In tandem with the renaming of the day centre, the Harpenden Seniors Forum was also officially launched by Joan Bartholomew, Eric Morecambe's widow, on the same night.

The new voluntary organisation provides a single point where the town's senior citizens can get all the information and guidance they need on available services, government and council initiatives, travel and entertainment options and technical and personal support.

Access is by a telephone helpline and a dedicated website and there is also an office in the seniors club building.

Alan Cox, chairman of the forum, said: "Harpenden is blessed with a number of excellent organisations that provide advice, help and services to the town's seniors.

"Many guides and handbooks have been produced over the years. Yet many elderly people remain unaware of the range of support and activities available to them. The forum will provide all this information under one roof and make it easily accessible by phone or internet."

The forum will now be writing to the town's senior citizens explaining its aims and advantages and offering them membership, which is free.

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