Community centre to build café for elderly

A CENTRE for the elderly is getting ready to build a new café to create a more relaxed and sociable environment for its visitors.

LH 240215 Volunteers at Pop-up charity shop in South Street Lancing. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150224-235508001

Annick Lynn launched Chesham House Centre, in South Street, Lancing, six years ago, under the Royal Voluntary Service, to provide events, activities and support for the elderly.

Since then, the self-funding hub has gone from strength to strength. But Annick feels that a vintage-themed café will create a much more relaxing space for vulnerable people.

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“I wish I had a pound for every time someone said to me, ‘it’s taken me a year to build up the courage to walk in here’,” said Annick.

“The coffee shop is so people can come in, get a feel for the place, meet others and join in.”

The centre provides three main services for the elderly – activities, transport and a befriending scheme.

Annick is in charge of activities, which include cribs, a lunch club, grocery bingo and quizzes.

The centre has around £16,000 in the pot to start building the café, which includes a generous donation from Sussex Mark Masons’ Mark Benevolent Fund.

Annick said: “They gave us £12,000 and the rest is from people who came in with donations and the little fundraisers we do.”

This week, the centre is holding a jumble sale with all profits going towards the café and other services.

The team plan to tear down a few walls to create a larger space and have a seating plan so that passers by can see the new venue through the window.

The centre is now appealing to any plumbers, electricians and builders who are able to offer their expert services and advice to help make the café become a reality.

If you would like to help make the café a reality, or are looking to join the centre, call 01903 854640 or send an email [email protected]