Elizabeth House Cookham
Cookham's day centre for independent seniors ~ Charity number 1188342
We are a Day Centre at the heart of Cookham, alongside the local shops. Our aim is to provide support and companionship for the independent senior citizens of Cookham & surrounding areas in Berkshire.
Membership is £25 per year. Members can come for the day to share the company of others in a warm, welcoming and safe environment. Each weekday we have a variety of activities and entertainment and our own cook prepares a freshly cooked lunch.
We have a chiropodist and a hairdresser on site.
Who Are We?
We are a well established charity that was set up in 1981. There are 200 members. It is run on a daily basis by 3 paid staff - our general manager is Dawn Seeney, our cook is Tina Trice, and our bookkeeper/administrator is Liz Haslehurst. They are supported by around 60 volunteers who help in various ways: on a daily basis - some drive members to and from Elizabeth House, some help with preparing for lunch, some help with serving tea, coffee, biscuits.
The charity is overseen by a board of 8 Trustees. All of them live in the Cookhams (and have done so for a very long time!). They are able to draw on a diverse range of experience from their personal and professional lives to ensure the successful running of the charity.
The Trustees are:
Bill Bennett (Chairman of the Board), Suzy Shellabear (Vice Chair), Martin Sheehy (Treasurer), Jenny Elton (Honorary Secretary), Sally James, Paul Webb, Jill Cruse and Sarah Renton. The President of Elizabeth House is Lady Aurelia Young.
Fun and Wellbeing
Our weekly entertainment includes popular musicians, bands and various other entertainers. We have visits from the local schoolchildren who come to play and sing. We have quizzes and bingo to keep the mind active. We have chair exercise classes, and gently physical games like indoor golf putting and parachute games to keep the body active. Although we encourage participation, it does remain optional. We have a Theatre Club which organises outings 2 or 3 times a year. We also have an annual boat trip along the Thames and organise outings to places of interest (in the past we visited Waterperry Gardens and Buckinghamshire Railway Museum, for example). We have a beautiful day room with full media services such as internet, television, music and radio as well as a piano and mini-library for all our members to enjoy. We also have an in-house podiatrist and hair stylist who have been providing their services for many years (to note, these are paid for by the members themselves).
Giving and Receiving
Volunteers are critical to the survival of a charity. Our current "army" of volunteers numbers around 60 volunteers and many of them have been helping us for years.
In-house volunteers have the opportunity to mix with the members whilst giving them tea/coffee or lunch, to have a laugh with them, hear their interesting stories - they have lived a long life and seen many things.
This is what we are all about - a place where senior citizens, many of whom live alone, can meet up and enjoy life outside of their own 4 walls.
We welcome and actively encourage volunteers, members and their family supporters to help us with fundraising events in the community. It might be the one event that they help with every year but they love to do it - it's their contribution.
“I was lucky enough to be able to retire when I was 56 and I wanted to do something useful with my time outside of the family. I feel incredibly lucky that I found Elizabeth House. I had heard of it but knew nothing really about it and what it does. It is a fantastic place, it does so much for our older people and they love it. It is a joy to be able to do something that helps to keep the Day Centre running and to feel the appreciation of members.”