Closure threat to 'community asset' York Centre


Grace Witherden

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A ‘community asset’ which offers a vital service for the elderly may close later this month.

Volunteers and members were shocked last week when they were told the York Centre, run by the Royal Voluntary Service, may close at the end of September as the centre is losing money.

They were informed during a meeting and have also been sent letters which state that the centre in York Road, which provides facilities, classes and companionship for the community, may have to go.

The York Centre, also known as King George VI Club, has been open since the 1950s and has a cafe, hall for hire and offers a place for the community to socialise.

Pat Willis, who is a volunteer at the centre, said: “This place is a community asset, it’s so much more than just a club.

“They’ve made it quite clear that they want to close it, and a lot of members who received letters are now under the assumption that it is going to close. It’s a place for the elderly to socialise, and feel safe. The activities are well attended, not just by the elderly but mothers and babies, and staff at the town hall.

“We need more volunteers but they (Royal Voluntary Service) also need to employ a full-time manager that has the right drive for the job, so they can bring all the volunteers together.”

Brenda Wadhan, who has been a member of the club for more than 20 years, said she would be devastated if it had to close.

She said: “It’s been a big shock, it will be so sad if it has to close.”

Rebecca Kennelly, director of operations at Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We are in the process of reviewing the activities at the York Centre and exploring the option of potentially closing the centre. The wellbeing of older people in Maidenhead is important to us and we are currently looking at how we can support older people in the area through the expansion of our Care Bank service and working with other local charity partners.”


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