Marlborough’s Jubilee Centre needs a cook and lots of volunteers
Once you’ve found the clock in Marlborough High Street, you’re just a step away from the Jubilee Centre – the town’s drop-in and day centre for people over sixty. The centre welcomes plenty of older people who enjoy the care it gives them, but is short of volunteers to help look after them.
One of the centre’s great attractions is the lunch it serves every Wednesday and Thursday – not just to the people who come to spend the day at the centre, but to several older people who cannot resist a good, three-course lunch in friendly surroundings for a fiver. But….the centre needs a part-time cook willing to work flexible hours and cook suitable, tasty and simple food.
Carole Walker, the centre’s leader, says the right cook will get to know some remarkable older people who come to the centre from many parts of the Marlborough area and get a great response from his or her cooking.
The Jubilee Centre was set-up in 1977 – the year of Queen Elizabeth’s silver jubilee. Wiltshire Council provide half its annual costs, the rest comes from donations, fees and grants from charities.
Carole (seen left welcoming a drop-in visitor) is one of the four paid part-timers who run the centre. She came to the area from South Africa in 2000 and has three grown-up daughters - one of them at university. She fears that in the current economic climate, more people are having to take part-time jobs - and that means there are fewer people able and willing to volunteer.
As a day centre (on Mondays, Tuesday and Fridays) it can accommodate nineteen people – including two wheelchairs. These days are for frailer people who have been referred to the centre by outside agencies. Besides the meal, there’s coffee and teas, and either a talk or an entertainment. And some of the older people will be taken for walks along the High Street by volunteers.
A major part of the work Carole and her team do is arranging transport to bring the elderly – and sometimes infirm – people to the centre from all over the area, and then take them safely home again.
Some use the Kennet and District Community Transport Group’s mini-bus – seen below delivering a wheelchair-bound drop-in visitor to the centre. Otherwise the centre arranges a Link Scheme car or a taxi – and some a delivered by neighbours or family.
On drop-in days – Wednesdays and Thursdays – the centre can have up to forty elderly visitors during the day and provide thirty lunches.
Four times a year they arrange outings. These are subsidised by the Wiltshire Community Foundation. Tomorrow (Tuesday, 1 November), they’re going to the Manger Barn in Lacock where they’ll have an indoor picnic.
In addition, 2012 will not just be Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee, but will also be the Marlborough Jubilee Centre’s thirty-fifth birthday…and that calls for some good citizen to sponsor a really great party for the over 60’s