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Future of Stansted Day Centre set to be finalised and include return of hot meals service for the elderly

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Negotiations are under way to hand over the running of Stansted Day Centre to a charitable organisation with the return of a hot meals service for the village elderly.

Touchpoint is gathering support from different areas of the community to pool resources and offer a range of services and activities, including a café and hot meals, for users of all ages.

The day centre in Crafton Green, which has been shut since the start of the pandemic last year, would become a community hub with an outside area transformed into a garden.

Stansted Day Centre at Crafton Green. Picture: Vikki Lince (48689681)
Stansted Day Centre at Crafton Green. Picture: Vikki Lince (48689681)

Touchpoint is keen to involve village mental health support group Let's Talk, Stansted! and Citizens Advice, and to get young people involved in creating the outside space and to tackle hunger and social isolation in the community.

On its website, the charity says: "This past year has been exceptional and Covid-19 has provided us with many challenges, but we see this as an opportunity to look afresh both at how we connect and how we engage with each other as a community to exchange support."

Discussions between landlord Stansted Parish Council and Touchpoint to finalise the details and negotiate a lease are nearing conclusion.

But Stansted parish and Uttlesford district councillor Geoffrey Sell, whose mother was a founder member of the day centre, said he was “nervous” about relinquishing control.

“My concern is to provide a safeguard for older residents because that's what the day centre was originally there for," he said.

“I have a personal connection so it's very close to my heart. I'm in favour of widening access and increasing usage, but slightly nervous about giving them the lease.”

Catherine Dean, chair of Stansted Day Centre's management committee, said that it was disbanding in July, but she was hopeful the new proposals would safeguard future provision for existing centre users.

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