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Lifestyle Centre Closure

Published on 18 March 2019 03:26 PM

A facility, opened in 2014 to provide bespoke services for the over 50s across North Lincolnshire, is to close as continued funding challenges and low attendance makes its future untenable.

Following a concerted effort and investment by Age UK Lindsey, the organisation’s Lifestyle Centre on Crosby Road, Scunthorpe, will close later this year.

However, vigorous efforts are being made into continuing two of the most popular services running from the centre, one being the Community Transport Scheme and the other being the ‘Men in Sheds’ project.

Talks are being held with partner organisations, about how these services could be supported in the future in order to be maintained and constructive discussions have also taken place with the Leadership of North Lincolnshire Council, who are keen to work with the charity going forward in order to continue and develop services for older people in North Lincolnshire.

Meanwhile Age UK Lindsey has pledged continued delivery of its Information and Advice Services in the area, which last year supported older people to claim more than £2-million unclaimed welfare benefits in North Lincolnshire. Age UK Lindsey is also looking to expand Befriending services in North Lincolnshire as it looks to put people and clients first, by providing the most effective services with the resources available.

“This was a very difficult decision however we simply cannot keep open a building which continues to lose money. As a charity, Age UK Lindsey is here for the benefit of the whole of North Lincolnshire’s older community and our resources are best served delivering services that the majority wants and will benefit from,” said the Chief Executive Officer of Age UK Lindsey, Andy Storer.

Age UK Lindsey has been responsible for the Lifestyle Centre since taking over all the operations formerly managed by Age UK North Lincolnshire when the latter ran into funding problems.

That was in 2017 and, after providing funds to keep the building solvent and paying off an outstanding loan, the Board of Trustees at Age UK Lindsey said the facility had a year to improve attendance level to at least break-even.

Despite bringing in new staff, including an experienced catering manager to support the refurbished Lucy’s Kitchen at the centre, and trying to attract new clients by advertising office space for conference facilities, the numbers have still not been enough to support it long-term.

Dependant on fundraising, grants and charity shop income to enable service delivery, Age UK Lindsey faces a constant challenge, explained Mr Storer.

“The simple fact is that, had we not taken over this facility, it would have closed back in 2017 and despite every effort we simply cannot afford to keep putting money in, without getting enough back in order to maintain it. While there are a number of people with whom the Lifestyle Centre is popular, the current footfall into the building is not enough,” he said.

“During the coming weeks we will be doing all we can to signpost those people who use the Lifestyle Centre to other facilities, while looking at how we can engage with local communities to extend the really popular services we deliver across North Lincolnshire – not just Scunthorpe,” added Mr Storer.

Age UK Lindsey wants to hear from people in North Lincolnshire who would like to hear more about the long-term services on offer and how they can be part of the organisation as it moves forward with its plans for the area. Please contact 01507 524242.

When is the centre closing?

The centre will close on 5th July 2019

Is Age UK Lindsey withdrawing all services from North Lincolnshire?

No. Our Information and Advice Service in North Lincolnshire, which secured over £2 million of unclaimed welfare benefits for older people last financial year, will continue to run as normal.  We will be looking at all options to see how we might maintain the Community Transport Scheme and the Men in Sheds Project.  The Compuuter Club is relocating click here to find out more

How will we find out about the future of the Community Transport Scheme and Men in Sheds?

Discussions are under way with North Lincolnshire Council and other key partners to look at how we might maintain these valuable services and we will let people know through staff and volunteer briefings, social media and local press once decisions have been made.

What will happen to the foot care service?

We are currently exploring new venues with key partners so that we can maintain this service

What will happen to the staff?

Staff will be fully briefed by the Executive Management Team about their options.

What will happen to the volunteers?

The volunteers based at the centre will be fully briefed by the Executive Management Team about the options available to them, should they wish to continue volunteering for the charity.

What will happen to the building?

The building is leased and will return to the landlord at end of summer.

I'm a member of staff or a volunteer, who do I contact for more information?

For more information, staff and volunteers should contact Brenda Thompson, Director of HR Performance and Quality on 01507 524242, Donna Murphy, Director of Operations on 01724 849819 or CEO Andy Storer on 01507 524242.  Volunteers can also speak to their usual contact within the Lifestyle Centre

I have another question, who do I contact?

In the first instance, please call our Head Office on 01507 524242 and ask to speak to our CEO, Andy Storer.