A NEW day centre providing vital support to Witney’s elderly community got off to a flying start.

The centre, led by Linda and Graeme Young, opened its doors last Thursday and is set to continue providing a lifeline to elderly people in and around the town.

Based at Ceewood Hall in Fettiplace Road, the home of Oasis Family Church, the new centre will provide guests with a place to eat, work out and socialise.

Mrs Young said: “We’ve been working flat out on this to get it right and it was fantastic.

“We have so many volunteers with different qualifications. We’ve got people who are carers and chefs and a range of other skills.

“I’ve had other people dropping in and offer to help so word is getting out.”

Thirty-five people attended the launch of the day centre on Thursday and there were 19 volunteers on hand.

The day served as the perfect taster of what is to come. There was an exercise session, an art group, a number of games including Scrabble and a two-course meal for all the guests.

It costs £7.50 a day to join in the Thursday sessions, which will continue to run every Thursday from 10am to 2.30pm

Mrs Young continued: “This is going to happen every week now and it’s going to keep getting better.

“That was just the very first one and it turned out great.”

Mr and Mrs Young came up with the idea for a new day centre in response to council cut backs.

Oxfordshire County Council launched a new system of daytime support services for pensioners and people with learning disabilities across the county early last year.

The number of daytime support centres funded by the council is being reduced from 22 to eight, with overall savings of about £3m by 2020.

Mrs Young, a mum-of-two, previously said: “I think it’s a shame that there have been council cutbacks.

“There is definitely a demand for this in Witney and the surrounding villages and I am sure it is going to be a success.

“These centres can be a real lifeline for them because otherwise they might not get to see anyone all week.”

Mrs Young, who has been running the day centre in Eynsham for four years, is still looking for financial support or sponsorship.

She said her centre in Witney would be run as a charity and she had applied for an ‘innovation grant’ from the county council.

Mrs Young also said it was possible the new day centre could be run more than one day a week in future if there was sufficient demand.

For more information or to book a place email lindamckeer@hotmail.com or call 01993 701082.