Horsham Age UK branch celebrates 50 years

New sign at Horsham District Age UK branch is unveiled at Golden Jubliee celebrations
New sign at Horsham District Age UK branch is unveiled at Golden Jubliee celebrations

THE Horsham district branch of Age UK, formerly Age Concern, celebrated its Golden Jubilee on Saturday.

Among the guests at Lavinia House was Lord-Lieutenant for West Sussex Susan Pyper, who unveiled the new Age UK sign at Lavinia House and launched the Golden Jubilee fundraising campaign with a ceremonial cutting of the Jubilee Cake.

More than 130 guests including branch members, staff, volunteers past and present, supporters, donors, fundraisers and representatives from charitable partner organisations were entertained by singers and musicians from the Millais School enjoying a traditional garden party tea of sandwiches, home made cakes and the Jubilee Cake baked and iced by Lavinia House cook Lidia Burton.

Age UK Horsham District Chief Officer, Bernard Baldwin, said: “This is a great occasion, and without our truly committed staff and amazing volunteers we would not have been able to put on such a celebration, or provide the range of support that we do.

“It’s good to be able to share to-days celebration with our members, partners and friends.”

Outgoing Chairman of Horsham District Council, Cllr Brian Donnelly paid tribute to the charity’s sterling work over these 50 years in responding to the needs and concerns of older people across the Horsham District during changing times.

Age UK Horsham District first came into being in 1961 based in a wooden hut in Denne Parade. Then called the Horsham District Council Old People’s Welfare Committee, it was supported by the County Alderman and chairman of the county council and was set up provide support for older people.

Branch chairman Vivien Lyth said: “Although we have a new name, we are still doing what we set out to do all those years ago. We are indeed grateful for the support we have received over the years from many individuals and organisations and in particular for the financial support and commitment of Horsham District Council, West Sussex County Councils and the Suzanne Green Charitable Trust.

“Quality of life is important - making new friends and having someone to share your memories with, maybe a game of cards and enjoying hot meals that you would not bother with on your own and knowing there is someone who can help you with those worrying forms for pensions and benefits.

“With a little more money we can reach even more of our older residents. That’s why our Golden Jubilee Fundraising Appeal is important.”

They already have several events planned to help them reach their £50,000 target, including the Derby Day Summer Fair on Saturday June 4 and ‘Chipmunk to Concorde’ on Friday June 10 - an evening with test pilot Jock Reid talking about his flying experiences.