Wishing all our members and supporters a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019.
Elizabeth House will be closed on the following days:
- Monday 24 December
- Tuesday 25 December (bank holiday)
- Wednesday 26 December (bank holiday)
- Thursday 27 December
- Monday 1 January 2019
We will open on Friday 28 December and from 2 January 2019.
The food storage facilities at Elizabeth House have been refurbished. Insulation, ventilation, a new UPVC door and a new floor covering have been installed in the garage, improving both hygiene and security for the food storage area, thanks to grants from Louis Baylis Charitable Trust and The Prince Philip Trust Fund.
We replaced four domestic chest and upright freezers with three upright, energy efficient commercial models and a commercial fridge, suitable for storing quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables. We also installed shelving in the garage for the storage of dry foods. Our non-food items are now stored separately in an external storage area.
Cook Tina Trice (pictured) said: “These new facilities are a huge improvement. The upright freezers make it so much easier for me to see everything and control the stock. The new fridge gives us loads of new space, so we can keep foods fresher for longer”.
Laurie Holloway Trio
Laurie Holloway,musical director for Michael Parkinson’s chat shown and for the first three series of Strictly Come Dancing, gave a concert at Holy Trinity Church in Cookham on Friday night in aid of Elizabeth House, Cookham’s day centre for independent senior citizens.
In the first half, a chamber orchestra made up of local professional musicians led by Julie Dawkes Bentley played some of Laurie’s own compositions.
In total contrast, the Laurie Holloway Trio with Laurie on piano, Harold Fisher on drums and Dave Olney on bass kicked off the second half with a medley of Beatles songs. The set interspersed instrumental jazz from the Trio with songs from two talented young singers Emily Ashcroft and Jake Willett who sang standards and music from the shows.
Audience applause filled Holy Trinity Church Cookham to the rafters at the end of this fundraising event which raised around £1,500 for Elizabeth House.
Our first ever stall at the Cookham Dean Village Fair was a great success. Friends and supporters baked and iced delicious cupcakes and enough people visited to raise £200!
We’ll be back next year.
Elizabeth House had a wonderful spot at the Regatta this year – just about at the finish line for the boat races – which gave the crews the perfect excuse to try and win a bottle or two on our now infamous stall. We are always very fortunate to receive our target 250 bottles and the bottle that was most coveted this year was a Gordons’ Sloe gin! Thanks to all who took part – we raised £636.90 and had a lovely day.
The annual general meeting of Elizabeth House was held in July. Chairman Chris Harris announced that the Cookham day centre for independent senior citizens had enjoyed another successful year.
“In 2017-2018 we embarked on an ambitious programme of works that included replacing the lift and boilers, and completely renovating the day room: installing air-conditioning, lighting and audio visual equipment. The cost was partly funded by grants, bequests and donations from the Cookham Festival and the Cookham Bridge Rotary Club, topped up from our own funds.
“We are now well placed to move forward, with a well-maintained building and a contemporary interior that fully meets our practical daily needs.
Chris thanked the staff and the superb team of volunteers “who make this place ‘hum’ every day, contributing to a warm, happy, caring and enjoyable environment”.
Lady Aurelia Young, president of Elizabeth House, presented certificates to former trustees with more than five years’ service and badges to the volunteers.
A coachload of members of Elizabeth House and helpers enjoyed a splendid day out at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, thanks to the generosity of a local benefactor.
Their first stop was the excellent café in the Visitor Centre for refreshments and home made cakes and they later returned for a buffet lunch.
There was plenty to see across the extensive site. Amongst the attractions was a Travelling Post Office where they could learn about the Great Train Robbery which took place nearby in 1963 and sort envelopes under expert guidance.
By common consent the highlight was a short steam train ride – as Elizabeth House manager Miriam Blazey had arranged the visit on a ‘steaming day’. Riding in old fashioned railway carriages with a corridor certainly brought memories flooding back!
Regular quizmaster John Sykes put the general knowledge of Elizabeth House supporters to the test with his challenging and well-researched questions. Trustee Jill Cruse and helpers cooked and served a delicious meal and Bernadette Clark (pictured) sold raffle tickets on the night. This fundraising event raised over £1,625 for Cookham’s much loved day centre.
The Co-op last year donated over £5,000 from their Local Community Fund to Elizabeth House.
“This funding had to be for a community project rather than specifically for Elizabeth House members”, explains manager Miriam Blazey. “We noticed that many people sat on the bench outside in the sunshine but this is now 16 years old!
“With the Co-op money we have replaced the seating with benches made from recycled plastic, added new entrance and exit signs and are waiting for another bench, new planters, a bird feeder and some garden whirligigs for everyone to enjoy.”
Customers of Spice Merchant have raised over £3,000 for Elizabeth House since June 2015 by paying 50p from the price of every dessert they buy and by adding an optional sum to every bill.
This brainwave came from Bashir Islam, owner of Spice Merchant, who is delighted with its success.
Why not try one of their classic curries in a historic, setting and support Elizabeth House, too?