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Statement on changes at the Laburnum Centre

Published on 15 March 2023 11:45 AM

Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove is making some changes at the Laburnum Centre, which we wanted to clarify as there’s been some concern and confusion about our plans there.

Our charity is being hit incredibly hard by the cost of living crisis, at a time when we’re needed more than ever. Many charities like ours are having to close. While we’re thankfully not in that situation, we do have to look at where we can make savings to help us remain sustainable as costs soar. We want to be here for older people locally for many years to come.

Changes include moving out of office space in Littlehampton and Chichester and increasing office space in the Laburnum Centre. The leases in Littlehampton and Chichester are expiring shortly and with more people working in a hybrid manner, it made sense not to renew these. At the Laburnum, this will affect one room which is currently used as an activity space. The classes that took place in this room will continue, just elsewhere in the building. We’re trying to minimise the impact on our members as much as possible.

We have also, sadly, had to reduce the food choice and increase some of the prices in our café. Wholesale costs have meant this is unavoidable, but we’re still keeping prices as low as possible. We still believe we offer good value for money compared to most high street cafes.

Finally, we are reviewing staffing in some parts of the organisation. These discussions are confidential, but again we’re working as hard as possible to ensure that any changes we make will have minimal impact on the older people who visit us.

Age UK WSBH works across Brighton & Hove and all of West Sussex, supporting around 17,000 older people. Changes and savings aren’t limited to our centre in Bognor, they are organisation wide.

We know there’s frustration and upset among some of our members. We want to be as transparent as possible about the changes that are taking place and why they’re necessary. We’re organising a meeting for members, where we can explain in a bit more detail what’s happening and hopefully put minds at rest. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts. We want to work together to guide the charity through the cost of living crisis and continue to help as many older people as possible.

We’ll share details of the meeting online and in the Laburnum Centre as soon as we have them. If you have any questions in the meantime, please speak to the team at the Reception desk or email us at with any comment or suggestions.

Thank you so much for your support.