Published Tuesday 23 June 2015 at 7:33
A newly refurbished day care centre in Blackburn has officially re-opened.
The improvements to Hopwood Court in Audley have seen more group rooms, fully equipped disabled bathrooms, a training kitchen and a therapy room installed there.
Plans are also in place to develop a garden at the back of the centre and install more of the latest technology to support people who need help to maintain independence.
Staff are also keen to use the centre as a community hub with plans underway to develop a wide choice of activities and services for the community.
An open day is planned for Thursday, August 20 where people can come along and try out activities such as Tai Chi, arts & crafts, baking, gardening and hand and feet massage.
Blackburn with Darwen Council invested in the refurbishment at Hopwood Court and is working in partnership with Age UK there. Age UK has relocated its day care provision to be jointly delivered with the borough’s provision, working to make facilities available to more people.
At the launch, on Friday June 12, a plaque was also unveiled on the centre’s new lounge and sunroom in memory of Councillor Dorothy Walsh – a former Blackburn with Darwen Mayor who represented the Higher Croft ward. It reads: “A long serving and dear colleague and tireless champion for older people.”
Vicky Shepherd, Chief Executive of Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, said:
Hopwood Court will now be able to provide more support, more opportunities for people to connect with others and a chance to reduce some of the challenges that people may have to face as they get into older age. I’m really excited about what we can do here in future in partnership with the Council. We were also keen to give some space in memory of Dorothy who was a real champion for older people in the borough.
Investment at Hopwood Court was pledged by the Council last year after residents, who are among the most vulnerable in Blackburn with Darwen, and their families who use it said they really valued the facility.
Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
We wanted to invest money in Hopwood Court despite the tough financial times we have faced precisely because it is used by some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents. The facilities here are fantastic and the buzz around the place is brilliant – there’s lots of laughter and the older people are having a great time. Dorothy was hardworking, committed and passionate about what she did. I’m very pleased that we’ve also got something like this here to remember her by.