Pensioners welcome social club reprieve

A SCARBOROUGH senior citizens' club which is also popular with people from Filey has been given a last-minute reprieve by the county council.

But the fight to secure the future of The Elder Tree Club, which is based at the Elders Street Day Centre near the YMCA, goes on.

Club representatives say a short-term solution is not adequate

Members were told that due to lack of funds the club would have to close temporarily from Thursday, but North Yorkshire County Council stepped in to announce the same day that it would be providing an additional 5,000 funding that will ensure the club stays open – until April 2010 at least.

Filey club members Shirley Dillon, 75, and her husband John, 77, and Audrey Megson, 79, voiced their concerns earlier this week, saying they would be “lost” without the club.

They said: “For a lot of people who go there it is the only way they can get a really good meal on a regular basis. Apart from the lunch, it is the company too.

“It gives us the opportunity to meet with friends, talk, dance and play bingo.

“We have all been going two to three times a week. We come from Filey especially. In fact there are around 14 of us that come through from Filey.”

The county council and The Elder Tree Club are now continuing discussions to finalise the details of a three-year funding plan.

Derek Law, corporate director for the county’s adult and community services, said: “This support marks a major step forward for the club and will enable it to seek additional grant funding (through the umbrella organisation Coast and Moors Voluntary Action) to raise its profile in the local community, remove an element of uncertainty for club members and move towards a sustainable future with our support”.

The club will undergo a temporary closure, which starts today and is expected to last around two weeks, while further negotiations regarding its fate are under way.

l see Viewpoint, page 6.