Aylsham charity celebrates tenth anniversary
The Aylsham and District Care Trust is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the opening of their Day Services Hub and Orange Blossom Café serving the people of Aylsham. Tony Rothe reports.
Back in 1985, local pharmacist Rees Coghlan sought to create a charitable trust for the purpose of bringing to Aylsham and the surrounding district care for the very sick, the terminally ill, those with physical or mental disabilities and those in the community who were isolated.
The Aylsham Care Trust (ACT) was formed with a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of the community in and around Aylsham by connecting older people with each other and provide the necessary support they need to live well. It is a registered charity with Christian ethos and roots, and Rees’s son Patrick Coghlan, pastor at Worstead Baptist Church, leads the Trust’s counselling services.
Several years ago, the ACT trustees had a vision to open a Day Services Hub to help those in the Community who need somewhere to belong and connect. After a lengthy process of developing and building, right, the centre finally opened on 23 March 2012.
Philip Macdonald, CEO said ‘We are delighted that all the hard work 10 years ago has bought us here where we can help connect and serve those in our community that need us most. It’s important that we keep encouraging people to find out more about what there is locally to support everyone to live well.
‘We promote independent living through a day services hub, home care services, volunteer car schemes sup-ported lunch clubs and a counselling service. We want to keep thriving and certainly expect to be at the heart of our community for another 10 years and beyond.’
ACT relies on an army of volunteers to help within the Centre and out in the community. The Volunteers are passionate about helping within the coffee shop, assisting passengers on the minibus, providing day care, counselling services, taking members to appointments, delivering hot meals to homes, help with light housework, shopping, and companionship.
ACT recognises that, following the pandemic, there are now many people in the community who feel disconnected and have lost their confidence to reach out. ACT aims to bridge that gap, providing a safe space with trained, dedicated staff and volunteers offering support.
Volunteer Sandi Ward says ‘I feel lucky and privileged to spend so much time at the ACT Centre - It’s not just about working in the kitchen or helping on the buses, it’s so much more and allows me to give something back.’
The complex is situated within the Hopkins Homes Estate on St Michaels Avenue, next to the Aylsham Health Care Centre and opposite the Green Lanes Residential Homes. NR11 6YA.
The pictures show, top, Volunteers at the Orange Blossom Cafe run by the ACT, and, above, work starting on the site over ten years ago, and are both courtesy of Aylsham District Care Trust.
Read our previous story about the ACT
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