Worthing charity aims to expand base

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AN increasing demand for services from Worthing’s elderly population has resulted in a local charity announcing two big schemes to help meet the growing need.

Worthing Guild Care has lodged plans with the borough council for extending its Methold House base in North Street, and the charity also announced this week it has launched a £1.5million appeal to help fund a new, purpose-built, 84-bed care home.

Plans for the Methold House extension propose a larger communal lounge, with a first-floor extension over to provide office space and meeting room.

Communications manager Julia Johnson said: “The cost will be dependent upon whether we build a single-storey extension (approximate costs £150,000) or two-storey (additional approximate cost £300,000).

“We have already been granted a large contribution of £100,000 from the Thomas Banting Memorial Trust towards the cost of extending Methold House, allowing us to expand our Healthy Living Programme for older people and carers which is heavily over-subscribed.

“If planning permission is granted, we would expect to start the work next year, and we will go ahead with the single-storey extension and look for further grants/fund-raising to build the second storey.

“The extension will give us room to provide more space for daily activities, including exercise sessions. A total of 4,300 service users participated in exercise classes during 2010-11, compared with 2,552 the previous year.

“We cooked and served 21,000 lunches, an increase of 30 per cent on the previous year. There were 800 therapy sessions, 375 assisted baths and nearly 1,000 people participated in arts, crafts, music and poetry and 250 in discussion groups.

“Our offices have been bursting at the seams for some time – our Outreach Team and Home Care services also operate from Methold House and we host the Carers Support Service for Worthing and District – they dealt with 6,400 requests for information during 2010/11 – up by 1,900 on the previous year.”

Plans for the new care home for Worthing Charity were announced at Guild Care’s annual meeting on Tuesday by chief executive Suzanne Millard.

She said: “Our services are in high demand as 23 per cent of Worthing’s population is over 65 compared to a national average of 17 per cent.”