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Charity given £1,000 Louis Baylis grant for entertainment and exercise classes

A charity which aims to enrich the lives of older people will use a £1,000 grant from the Louis Baylis Trust to support independence and wellbeing in its clients.

Age Concern Windsor intends to spend the money on increasing the number of exercise sessions and events it puts on for those who use its day service.

Rachel Harvey is chief officer of the charity based at The Spencer Denney Centre in Park Corner, Windsor.

She explained the exercise sessions help the charity’s clients, aged between 72 and 105, maintain their independence and ultimately ‘stay in their own homes’.

The sessions include yoga, resistance band exercises, dance activities, skittles, and bean bag games.

“Them being able to walk around their own home and pick up a cup of tea, and being able to bend to pick something up off the floor is really important for them to stay in their own homes,” Rachel said.

The charity also wants to put on more entertainers because this is what makes ‘their faces light up’.

Rachel said: “They’re smiling, and all of a sudden they’ve got their feet tapping, and then they get up and have a bit of a bounce and they have fun.

“It brings a smile to their face that other things don’t.”

She added: “That kind of entertainment that gets their memories working a bit or gets them up, that’s what we’re looking to improve and bring in more of but of course we can’t do it if we don’t have any money.”

The charity needs about £100,000 to provide its services annually, a third of which comes from charging the clients for its services.

Rachel said: “We’re trying to keep that at a reasonable level for them without short-changing ourselves on what we do so we then have to raise the rest of that money.”

The day service, which costs £20 a day, takes place Tuesday to Friday, from 9.30am-2.30pm.

Sunday lunch club is every second Sunday and includes a three course meal, with a glass of wine or beer, and refreshments for £10.

Coffee club is on Tuesday’s from 2-4pm and it is £1 for unlimited tea and cake.

“Realistically, without the grants we couldn’t function,” said Rachel.

“Without it we couldn’t really run the service that we do, at all.”

Not having the service would mean ‘a great number of them would be a lot more unhappy’ Rachel said.

“It’s a really big part of their lives.”

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