Centre for elderly officially opens in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 17:30 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:50 23 April 2019

105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2616. Picture: Terry Ife

105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2616. Picture: Terry Ife

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A centre offering support, companionship and advice for elderly people in the Sid Valley has officially opened.

105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2627. Picture: Terry Ife105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2627. Picture: Terry Ife

More than 50 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Age Concern Sidmouth which saw 105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett declare the charity's new hub open.

Its Exmouth centre sees 1,000 people a week utilising its services which encompass paid-for home visits and companionship, as well as wellbeing events and trips.

Gill Smith, chief officer for Age Concern, said: “It just feels amazing. It's been a long two years in the making.

“We are here. We are open. The response we have been getting from people has been incredible and the volume of people coming in. We have been seeing people before we have even opened.

105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2623. Picture: Terry Ife105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2623. Picture: Terry Ife

“The number of people that have come from different organisations and welcomed us and said 'we want to work with you' and 'we want to collaborate with you' is fantastic.”

The Exmouth branch of the charity started in 1965 and celebrates its 55th anniversary this year. The Herald revealed Age Concern's plan to come to Sidmouth in January.

Ms Smith said: “They want somewhere they can come in and talk to a person Monday to Friday, a physical person and speak to them in the office or the telephone. That's so important - people do not want an automated telephone number to call them back in six weeks, they want the answer today or at least given some reassurance and pointed in the right direction.

“Through sitting at Sid Valley Help and health and care forum meetings we know there are issues out there. We are here to help and enhance the services that are already running and try to tackle some of this areas, particularly social isolation. We are a centre for people to come in, we are here to help people get the money they are entitled to and make sure they are getting that. We will support them.”

105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2619. Picture: Terry Ife105-year-old Marjorie Hodnett cuts the ribbon at the opening of Age Concern Sidmouth. Ref shs 16 19TI 2619. Picture: Terry Ife

The charity thanked the health and care forum, Sid Valley Help, Independent Age, Sidmouth Town Council and organisations working with it to support the Sid Valley's elderly.

“Without them, we wouldn't be here,” Ms Smith said.

Age Concern Sidmouth, in the High Street, will be open Monday to Friday, from 10am to 3pm.

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