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Coronavirus: Newmarket Day Centre trustees likely to confirm centre closure today after emergency meeting

Trustees of Newmarket Day Centre are holding an emergency meeting today when they are likely to confirm the centre will have to close.

The Fred Archer Way facility is a lifeline for a large number of the town’s senior citizens providing host of services including hot meals, a hearing aid clinic, hair salon, podiatry services, professional legal advice as well as an emotional well-being service.

Trustee Terry Wood said on Tuesday if the centre had to close, its kitchens would be available to cook meals for its existing clients and others who needed them and it had a network of volunteers in place ready to help deliver them.

Newmarket Day Centre, Fred Archer Way (31897580)
Newmarket Day Centre, Fred Archer Way (31897580)

The centre currently prepares between 100 and 150 meals daily for its clients but Mr Wood said it could double or even treble that capacity if necessary.

“We will need more volunteers to help us with deliveries particularly if the demand for meals increases. We want to be there for the whole community,” said Mr Wood. He said the centre had no concerns over food supplies, which came from local businesses like Eric Tennant Butchers in Newmarket as well as wholesale suppliers.

The centre’s charity director Elvis McMinn said if the centre were close it might be possible for volunteers to use it to stay in touch with by phone with senior residents.

“In the current situation loneliness and isolation is going to be one of our biggest concerns,” said Elvis, “and a phone call to someone just asking if they’re okay could be so important.”

She said the centre might also be able to help with DBS (security checks) for volunteers who didn’t already have them. “They are going to be vital to safeguard everyone in this situation,” she said.