The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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October 2017

AgeUK Camden: Henderson Court

Barbara Alden

This is one of the local charities supported by our church.

There are major changes ahead for this local Resource Centre that has for many years offered a wide range of much-valued activities for the over-60s.

These have included various movement classes (dancing, yoga, Tai Chi, chair-based exercise), plus singing, music appreciation, guitar, poetry, film club, pottery, computer classes and much more.
There have also been individual sessions for massage, acupuncture, hairdressing and nail cutting, for people having difficulty cutting their own nails.

An excellent 3-course lunch, cooked on the premises, has been available if booked in advance, giving excellent value at £5!

The team of staff are the most remarkable caring people, who have shown dedicated commitment, treating everyone with dignity and meeting their individual needs with sensitivity, skill – and lightheartedness, with their ready smiles!

The centre up to now has been open access, also acting as a communal lounge for the residents of Camden’s sheltered housing in whose building the resource centre is situated. It seems this is now unlikely to be able to continue in the new plans.

As the changes the charity intend to make at the centre don’t start until this month (October) it is not possible to provide any real information about them yet. However, the following was posted on the AgeUK Camden website recently.

"Changes at Henderson Court Resource Centre
Age UK Camden is making changes at its Henderson Court Resource Centre in Hampstead to move the model closer to that of its award winning sister day centre at Great Croft, Kings Cross.

There will be an increased emphasis on supporting people with care needs, including those with dementia and complex needs. Older people attending can have their fees paid for by Camden Adult Social Care (if assessed as eligible) or be ‘self-funders’. The day rates paid by Adult Social Care currently vary from £25 to £65 depending on the level of need.

Age UK Camden’s CEO Gary Jones said: “We have liaised closely with Adult Social Care to make sure there is a good fit in our model with the Council’s own plans. There will also be opportunities to expand the service again when the council builds an ‘activity’ pavilion onto the centre to be shared with the adjacent sheltered accommodation. In the shorter term, we are also considering how we might run other activities out of core day care hours.

Janet Guthrie Age UK Camden’s Chair added: “The changes are needed to reduce a deficit and fit in with social care changes locally and nationally. Every service user will be supported through the process of assessment and benefit checks by our advice staff and Adult Social Care. More generally, Age UK Camden supports 9,000 older people each year. Other services include advice, drop in coffee mornings, dementia wellbeing, befriending and computer training.”  

Brian O’Connell, who had worked at Henderson Court in the past, has been welcomed back recently to take over as manager, following the early retirement of Laurie White, the centre’s remarkable manager for the past 8 years.

A farewell party was held to thank Laurie at the end of July.

His commitment and his delightful personality will be remembered with much affection and appreciation by his colleagues and all who benefited from his vision for a creative centre offering such a wide range of activities to keep older people alert, active and socially engaged. Thank you Laurie!

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