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Princes Risborough's day care centre a first for Bucks
A PRINCES Risborough facility which provides key support to residents became the first day care centre in Bucks to be handed over to a community enterprise today.
Patricia Birchley, Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) cabinet member for health and wellbeing, officially handed the key over to chairman of the community group, Carl Etholen.
It is two years after BCC proposed replacing 22 day centres with just six centres across the county.
The community in Princes Risborough fought to keep their facility and celebrated the hand over to the social enterprise today. It was previously run by the county and the Red Cross.
Three of the 60 regulars at the centre, Paula Salmon, Timmy Tighe and Sasha Gomme cut the ribbon at the centre in Clifford Road.
Miss Salmon, 47, of Monks Risborough said she has been coming to the centre for about six years.
She has bipolar disorder and said the centre gives her the support she needs and the continuity in care is the most important thing.
She said: "It is absolutely wonderful they managed to keep it going. It really is a lifeline, not only for me but other people as well."
It will be run by a body of community groups and will provide day care services for the elderly and for people with physical,learning disabilities and mental health issues.
Cllr Etholen said although the key purpose for the centre is day care provision he hopes it will also be used by the community.
He said: "The Princes Centre will be at the heart of the community. The centre will be run by the community for the community."
Cllr Birchley said it shows what can be done when the will is there.
She added: "It is principally the people in Princes Risborough who have done the hard work."
County Council Leader Martin Tett said: "There is a fantastic community spirit in Princes Risborough, and it is because of their eagerness to run with new ideas that we've been able to work together towards this successful outcome, and a 'first' for Buckinghamshire.
"The Princes Centre is about local people taking the initiative to deliver local services to meet local needs."
Cllr Etholen said more volunteers and donations are needed.
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