Work is under way to refurbish the Victoria Pavilion, home of a day care centre in Uckfield, to make it Covid secure for clients.
The Sussex Support Service premises have been closed since March 16 but director and founder Margaret Dode-Angel has been busy throughout lockdown offering phone support, sourcing PPE for carers and providing outdoor one-to-one support to give carers a break.
And she has been applying for grants that have enabled the centre to cover its costs while closed, and making it possible for the make-over to go ahead.
The pavilion’s central space is to be divided into three. One room will be available for meetings, craft work and film shows, while another will be for quiet relaxation with treatment areas off it, which can be used by visiting therapists.
Then the third area, the main hall, will be furnished with small fold-up round tables and comfortable chairs, thanks to a donation from Uckfield Lions.
Bigger tables and chairs which are no longer suitable for communal use in these Covid-19 times are being sold by Margaret through Facebook Marketplace.
The previous two toilets and three sinks, which date back to use by a football club, have been stripped out and are to be replaced with two accessible cubicles.
Margaret says she is very grateful for the help given to Sussex Support Service, which provides activities for older people and those with dementia and extra care needs, in these difficult times.
East Sussex County Council has given a percentage of the money that would previously have been received for each client, Wealden District Council arranged payment of a small business grant which has helped with rent and bills.
And money for the refurbishment has come from the Screwfix Foundation and Sussex Community Foundation Covid Crisis Fund.
Dawson Hart solicitors have donated money to the day centre too, finding new ways to boost funds as their usual events have been cancelled this year.
Margaret is hoping that, all being well, she will be able to reopen the day centre on October 5.
Existing clients will be welcomed back first on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays which will allow plenty of time for thorough cleaning, and infection control measures to be implemented, between sessions.
If you would like to contribute to day centre funds a crowdfunding page has been set up on gofundme here.
Margaret said: “A huge thank you to all funders, fund-raisers, and supporters of the service through this very challenging time.”
• Contact details for Sussex Support Service can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory . Look for the name or search in categories for Care Services or Dementia Support.