Cambridgeshire day centres return providing vital lifeline for the elderly

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Elodie Harper.

For the last week, day centres for older people have been able to open their doors again - providing a lifeline for many.

Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have re-opened a number of their day centres across the county for the first time since lockdown.

The centres were forced to close at the height of the pandemic but are now able to open for the first time in many months.

Peter Odell said that he's happy to be back with the group after feeling isolated for the past year. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The groups are welcomed by people like 90 year old Peter Odell, who spent a lot of lockdown feeling isolated and lonely.

Terrible, because I live on my own, couldn't go out, my daughter did the shopping for me, and that was it.

Peter Odell

Older people have had all the stress of knowing they are particularly vulnerable to Covid 19, while also often being more isolated due to living alone.

Everyone at the day centre has now had at least one vaccination and feels more positive about the future Credit: ITV News Anglia

The day centre made weekly welfare calls to residents over that period, but say there's no substitute for real human contact.

For over a year now, many users have been left feeling more isolated as a result of the pandemic and while we have worked hard to adapt our services to try to alleviate this as best we can, nothing can replace the value of face to face contact with friends and peers.

Melanie Wicklen, Chief Executive, Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

The centres provide older people with both assistance and a chance to socialise, with support from trained staff and volunteers.