The Day Centre is staffed by a Manager, a Support Services Co-Ordinator, a Senior Care Worker, Care Workers, an Administrator, Cooks, and Drivers
The Day Centre is managed by a voluntary Management Committee
There is a team of over 40 dedicated volunteers who assist on a rota basis, and without the help of the volunteers much of the work could not continue.
Here are some of our volunteers talking about the Day Centre
This is Amy
My name is Amy and I have been a volunteer now, for over 5 years, since retiring from the Bethany shop in Gullane. The centre is a great place for people to come to, and get to know one another, make friends, and enjoy each other’s company.
I feel very privileged to be part of such a well run and organised Day Centre. Staff are amazing and go out of their way to encourage and help everyone, nothing is too much bother. As a volunteer I try to be helpful by clearing tables, serving teas/coffee and washing up afterwards. I also join in with the entertainment, and go out runs on the Day Centre bus, to Garden Centres, or getting a yummy ice cream.
Chatting to the clients I find very rewarding, they love to talk about their past, where they came from, their families, and it’s so interesting to find how they came to North Berwick, or were maybe born here. There is great conversations and laughter as they reminisce.
With permission I have set up a little table with jewellery and scarfs so that everyone can have a look and buy (very cheaply) items that they like. Many can not get out to shops anymore, so I feel it maybe helps to lighten up their day even just having a look. All items for sale are donated, and money, if any, goes into Day Centre funds. I look forward to being part of the volunteer team for a while yet.
This is Peter
I was born in Portobello in the sixties and my family moved to East Sussex where I remained until I came home a couple of years ago.
Arriving in North Berwick I mentioned to my new GP that I had previously been an Alzheimer’s befriender and with that he packed me off down the hill to see Carol at the Day Centre for volunteering options, and the threat that he would be checking. I can’t thank him enough and the Day Centre, the staff, members and volunteers have become my friends and family, where I finally feel I belong. The magic starts with Carol and the staff, never have I come across a more caring and aware group of individuals, who gel to make the perfect team.
Each day is different and I never know whether I will be going out on a trip, taking someone out for a bit of one to one time, which may be a game of putting, a coffee, a pint, a walk, shopping or sitting with someone whilst enjoying the afternoon entertainment. That’s what I love about the place, if you use to do or want to do it, the staff will do everything they can to make it happen.
There is plenty of training opportunities and I became a passenger assistant on the bus, to and from the Day Centre. This has helped my depression and anxiety as it makes me get out of my bed and face the day. The bus has a positive feel as everyone is looking forward to the day ahead and happy to see you.
North Berwick Day Centre should come with a health warning ……. They lure you in with “just do as you want” and then its too late you love the place.
This is Kitty
I have the time now, with the children all grown up. I helped with the lifeboat shop and I do an odd day in Earth Matters shop. I’ve been volunteering at the Day Centre for over a year now. It’s a great team, nice people, nice members and I like just putting a little back into the community. I’m the bus passenger assistant on a Monday afternoon. Usually a single trip, but may become a double trip as more will be using the bus on a Monday.
I would recommend volunteering at the Day Centre and its not a huge commitment. I look forward to a Monday afternoon, getting out and about, meeting the staff and meeting the members. They have all got so much to offer. I also do outings on the bus during the day, to places like Merryhatton Garden Centre. I know a few of the other volunteers who do other days, and we all enjoy it. It’s a tremendous service for the old folk, I don’t think there is anywhere like it. The staff are great and are so patient.
I decided to volunteer because I knew one of the staff, and she said I would be very welcome to help, so I came along and agreed what I could do.
This is Maisie
"I have my reasons for being here, it helps me a lot being here. It helps other people but also me as a volunteer. I like speaking to people, this is my longest day on a Wednesday 11am to 3.30, I just come in for the entertainment part on a Thursday afternoon and help with the teas and that is me for the week.
I came here in 2007, I had lost my husband and it was only a few months later that I came here. At first I came to the door but did not come in. Then I had been in the church and it was a lovely day, and I went to the Day Centre, and a lady was sitting outside and she said, take a seat and we chatted and then I decided to go in and Carol chatted to me.
Carol put me beside Elizabeth, who was in a wheelchair, the first day, and then I came in the next week and sat with Elizabeth who was the only person I knew then. I said to Elizabeth I’ll have to find something to do, and she said they need volunteers, and that’s how I came. Elizabeth shouted over to Carol to say Maisie would like to be a volunteer, and Carol said that would be lovely. Carol asked how old I was, and I thought, oh I said, I’m very doubtful that you would take me in, as I was 80. Carol said, that’s no problem, and we will start you off 1 hour a week, but an hour was not enough for me. This is my life saver, and going out with friends on a Saturday, and I go to the Beacon on a Thursday."
Another of our Volunteers is Mary. Here are Mary's thoughts on being a Volunteer
"I really look forward to the days that I help at the Day Centre. I have met so many lovely people there and wish to thank everyone for their valued friendship. I am in the Centre every Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and sometimes more often. We are very lucky to have this Centre in North Berwick. It is a wonderful place and the staff are all so kind and helpful and caring.
I like to talk to many people there and enjoy helping to prepare and serve refreshments and to wash up afterwards.It is satisfying to feel useful. I enjoy playing dominoes with the men and listening to the many musicians who come to entertain us. I have had fun making little knitted hats and running the book stall at coffee mornings. In past years I helped with transport, and compiled quizzes and accompanied groups on outings.
I have been a member of the Management Committee since the Centre opened. Before that, I was a Volunteer helper at the "Four Seasons Club" from when it started in 1998 when my husband died. This group met in the Community Centre but came to the Day Centre when this was opened.
The Day Centre Management Committee meets once a month to discuss the running of the Centre, finances and strategies. I am almost 85 now and hope I can continue to help for many more years."
We Need More Volunteers!
In addition to the permanent staff at the Day Centre, we also rely on volunteers to help at the Day Centre. We are currently looking for, and need, additional new volunteers. There are many things you can do to help at the Day Centre such as chatting to and befriending our members, or helping serve cups of tea and coffee, and clearing up afterwards. Or you may prefer to help in the kitchen, or perhaps be a ‘Passenger Assistant’ on the Day Centre bus. We also need people to assist with short walks in the area when the weather is good.
How do I find out more?
Or arrange to have a chat with one of our staff. The Day Centre is also open between 10am and 4pm to anyone who wants to pop in for a cuppa, so you can come in and see for yourself!