The perfect place for a day centre – that is the pavilion at the Victoria Pleasure Ground in Uckfield.
So says Margaret Dodé-Angel, who has just taken on the lease of the building for her business Sussex Support Service.
She is thrilled by the possibilities opening up now for her service users and throwing herself into stripping out and refurbishing the first floor space.
Margaret lives at Manor End in Uckfield with husband Jay, 15-year-old son Connor who attends Uckfield Community Technology College and nine-year-old daughter Esme who goes to Rocks Park Primary School.
The whole family and many other volunteers are helping to refurbish the pavilion ready for its new role.
All the other places Margaret visited in her search for premises pale to insignificance beside this venue. She said: “This is the perfect place. I am just so happy that service users will have this view, sometimes day care centres can seem shut in but it is the complete opposite here.”
Margaret, with a team of eight, works with people with dementia, Parkinsons, those who have had strokes, or who have mild memory problems – anyone with extra care needs or who needs to ‘get out of the house and have a bit of fun’.
At the Victoria Pavilion there are panoramic views from a balcony where raised flower beds can be built and tended. The recreation ground itself is flat, ideal for walking on.
Inside there is plenty of space for craft activities, cooking and to enjoy the company of others.
The day care centre will be open daily, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6pm. There may be evening and weekend events too.
Sussex Support Service is being helped with start-up costs, advice and guidance, by East Sussex County Council as the new venture is set up at the Victoria Pavilion.
The service is a ‘micro provider’ and preferred provider for the council and currently runs day centres in Heathfield and at Crowborough. The Crowborough group will be moving to Uckfield when the pavilion is ready.
Other people will be referred by the county council or refer themselves and carers will be able to bring people along for taster sessions.
There will also be five drop-in sessions a day for Personal Assistants who help vulnerable people in their own homes and would like to bring them along for a break.
Volunteers who would like to help at the day centre are being sought. Margaret said she is looking for kind and empathic people with a willingness to chat, be friendly and smile. Training will be provided for anybody who comes on board.
Margaret is hoping to be ready to open the day centre at the end of August. If you would like to know more about her plans and the services to be offered please call her on 07973 221 472.
*The Victoria Pavilion was let for Uckfield Town Council by Oldfield Smith & Co