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Anna is patron of caring centre

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: November 29, 2013

By Belinda Hargreaves

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AN OLYMPIC gold medallist has become the patron of a care facility where her grandma attends.

Anna Watkins, who won double sculls at the London 2012 Olympics with Katherine Grainger, visited her home town of Leek last week to visit Bank House Day Care Centre in St Edward Street.

Katherine, accompanied by her new baby William as well as her mum Caroline Bebington, visited her grandma Phyllis.

The visit also marked the occasion of Anna becoming a patron of Bank House.

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Anna said: "I know how important Bank House is for everyone that comes here, particularly as my own grandma is a regular.

"I have heard about the funding changes and it is really, really important that Bank House is here and continues to do what it is doing.

"Being a patron means that I will be popping in to Bank House to see everyone when I am in Leek, and also helping cout as much as I can such as at fund-raising events. It is great that I can help to raise awareness of Bank House by being a Patron."

Phyllis, who has been attending Bank House Day Centre for more than two years, said: "It's very good here.

"More people should come here as everyone is so friendly and you are well looked after."

Maureen Wiskin, a trustee of Bank House Day Care Centre, said: "We are delighted that it is a positive endorsement from a high profile local girl whose grandma comes here and really enjoys it here because it is good value for money.

"Having Anna be able to raise the profile of Bank House has given us a real boost. We will be using pictures of Anna on our promotional material and inviting her along to events we have here.

"We have been looking for a patron for a while and Anna is ideal as she comes from Leek and her grandma comes here, so Anna knows all about Bank House."

During her visit on Friday, Anna's grandmother Phyllis, and other visitors to the day care facility, were able to give the Olympian's baby William, who was born on September 20, a cuddle. Of becoming a new mum, Anna said: "I really like being a mum. It's been a change from the life I had before. Having a baby is something I always wanted to do and this was the right time.

"I am lucky that I have had a balance with my career.

"William is a very well behaved baby. I don't know where he gets it from."

As for the future and if she will be competing again soon, Anna said: "I have not got back into training yet. I will be concentrating on family life for the foreseeable future. It all depends on if there's more babies.

"However, there's a possibility of the next Olympics, and there's a possibility of the Olympics after that."

With a slogan "Day care you can bank on", Bank House Day Centre, which has been open in Leek for more than 30 years, offers elderly clients transport to the day centre, refreshments and a hot meal, a range of activities and an item of personal care per day, such as a bath, hairdressing, manicure or foot care.

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