BANK House Day Care Centre is a well loved charity that has been providing outstanding day care for older people in Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands for more than 30 years.
The centre, and its staff offer a range of activities for clients such as arts and crafts, day trips out, sing-a-longs as well as the valued opportunity to socialise.
The day care service also provides refreshments and meals, a dedicated door-to-door transport service, as well as the opportunity to have personal care needs addressed in privacy such as bathing.
Margaret Tunnicliffe, aged 88 from Longsdon, said: "I like coming here to chat to people. I enjoy taking part in the activities. The staff are very nice - can't fault them."
Hilda Beardmore, aged 83, lives in Brown Edge and visits the day care centre twice a week. She said: "It gets me out of the house and I have friends to talk to here."
Eighty-four year old Eileen Thomas, who lives in Leek, said: "I have been coming here for around 15 years and the staff are brilliant - you couldn't ask for better staff."
The building in which the day care centre is housed was built in the late-19th century as a bank and continued in that role until the 1970s when it became available and was bought for £39,000 by Leek Town Council in 1979 to provide premises for a variety of voluntary work.
The purchase was paid for by adding an extra 1p on the town's rate for one year. The Bank House building is also the base for the town's Citizens Advice Bureau, Talking Newspaper for the Blind as well as Staffordshire Moorlands Community and Voluntary Services. Bank House Day Centre was established in 1979 in response to needs identified by local health and social professionals who were concerned about how best to support increasing numbers of older people beyond the limits of the traditional medical and social models of care already provided.
The vision was to set up a facility that would enable older people to enjoy an improved quality of life, which would assist them to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible and reduce or delay the need for costly medical care including hospitalisation. The day centre has evolved from being set up and run by a band of volunteers, to now employing 12 members of qualified staff. The centre is a registered charity run by trustees, with the day-to-day running led by managers Hazel Roberts and Iris Brough.
Hazel said: "We treat people who come here as our family. We aim to make it a home from home place for them. The staff we have are very good, they interact with everyone."
Clients using Bank House Day Care Centre used to be referred to use the service by Social Services.
However, now the government has introduced direct payments, this has led to carers and clients now choosing themselves to use Bank House.
Trustee Maureen Whiskin said: "With the introduction of direct payments our Social Services contract with Bank House Day Care Centre ceases and we wish to ensure the nature and the range of services on offer is well known and understood by all those who have an interest of older people's health and well-being at heart and that they feel confident to signpost this facility to potential clients and their families."
For further information, go online to the day centre’s new website, which has been created by Yellow Circle Designs, at www.bankhousedaycare.co.uk or call 01538 383665.