Age UK Oadby & Wigston to close after over 50 years of providing support to elderly

By Jessica Smith

Age UK Oadby and Wigston, a charity who have been offering services supporting the elderly for over 50 years, have made the decision to cease operation from April 30, reporting significant financial losses due to the pandemic.

The independent charity offer delivery services and activities for older people, such as exercise classes and a ‘knit and natter’ sessions will transfer it’s responsibilities to Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland.

Garry Burnside, the centre manager, stated: “The charity receives some funding from AgeUK England and some from Oadby and Wigston Borough Council providing about 15 – 20% of the charity’s running costs (approximately £16,000 per month running costs).”  

The rest the charity raises through it’s own activities and service work, such as autumn fayre’s and it’s coffee bar, but sadly they say have been unable to return from the huge blow the pandemic has had upon their finances.

Chairman of trustees at Age UK Oadby and Wigston Jill Gore, who has been the chairperson for nearly 25 years, stated: “These are unprecedented times and we will be working as hard as we can to ensure that older people know where they can turn for support.”

She thanked staff and volunteers for their dedication and commitment to the charity, acknowledging how upsetting the decision has been for staff and the community alike.

She also wanted to remind the community of the still available support from the Age UK national advice line, a lifeline in times when human contact is restricted.

Mr Burnside emphasised that lockdown only exacerbated the charities issues, saying: “ As of February 2020, our day care provision became fully booked, room hire and activity participation was increasing, revenue from the shop was improving and our restaurant café was competing competitively in the market. However, the charity was still losing around £6,000 per month. But the restrictions from COVID-19 were catastrophic.”

Donations to the AgeUK charity can be made via post/phone, and their eBay store as well as via telephone, to 0800 077 8751 or post, to FREEPOST AGE UK REPLY.