Community Membership is a new initiative from The Palace Trust to encourage local not-for-profit groups and organisations to make the most of this unique heritage site at the heart of Wells. The health benefits of visiting beautiful places with wonderful gardens, open water and a tranquil atmosphere are well known, so we want to make sure that those people who need it most can benefit from it right here on their doorstep. It is also a great way for us here at the Bishop’s Palace to build stronger links with our community.
To launch the scheme we are delighted to announce that The Palace Trust has given five complimentary memberships to local groups including The Lawrence Centre which provides day opportunities for older people including those with memory loss and health issues. Manager, Maggie Charlesworth, is pictured on the right receiving ten membership cards. She has been in touch to say how much everyone has appreciated them. ‘Already it has made a real difference to some of our members, carers and volunteers. Some of our more vulnerable members haven’t been out at all during lockdown so it really is a wonderful place to ease people back into the community. We had our team meeting with a shared lunch in the garden last week which was a real treat.’
Will Parry is a remarkable young man.
Despite being partially blind and confined to a wheelchair by cerebral palsy he has pledged to do 36 laps a day around the family’s garden for 31 days to raise money for a Wells charity.
He was not inspired by Sir Tom Moore, the 100-year-old war veteran who raised millions for the NHS by lapping his garden, but by his own father David who died of vascular dementia.
“I wanted to use my time well,” said 17-year-old Will who went to St Cuthbert’s Infants and junior schools in Wells but then had to board at a special school in Exeter because of his mental conditions.
The charity he chose is The Laurence Centre in Wells, most of whose members are living with dementia.
“I have known Maggie, the centre’s manager, since I was very small,” said Will.
His mother Elizabeth is a trustee at The Laurence Centre and said Will feels very strongly about his dad.
The 36 laps he does in his wheelchair add up to 1,387 metres a day.
Here is the link to Will’s Justgiving page for The Lawrence Centre
Shielded people living with dementia and other mental health issues have found the lockdown particularly difficult. Not least because the charities they can attend have been forced to close. One is The Lawrence Centre off Chamberlain Street, but its manager Maggie Charlesworth stepped up to the plate by inviting some of their regulars to a tea party in the garden of her house.
I was invited to come along and take a photo of the party. Maggie was persuaded to pose with everyone and it was a lovely photo. But then she said, firmly: “I am in too many photos” and insisted I take her chair while she used my camera to take the photo above. I apologise for my ugly mug.
Not everyone knew that Friday was National Cream Tea Day. But Maggie Charlesworth did and with help from her trusty volunteers filled 95 bags with home-made scones, jam and cream and delivered them to their members and carers. A sprig of lavender donated by Ashridge Nurseries was also included.
The photo shows Maggie, on the right, and her able crew packing the bags.
“They were all delighted,” said Maggie, “and it was wonderful to see so many smiles on their faces at this turbulent time when so many are very fearful, lonely and anxious.”
More unwanted tablets have been donated to the two mental health charities one of which is The Lawrence Centre. The presentations were done by volunteer Elinor Clare. Here she is keeping social distance with Maggie Charlesworth, manager of The Lawrence Centre. The tablets were checked and personal data removed without charge by Richard Boulos of Wellscope Computers Ltd.
This is Richard Garstang and his son Ollie. Richard, who is a volunteer with the Wells Coronavirus Network, was thinking of ideas for something he could do together with Ollie.
So they kindly volunteered to clear the back garden at The Lawrence Centre charity in Wells of weeds and tidy the whole area up.
“They did a wonderful job and we were hugely grateful to them,” said the centre’s manager Maggie Charlesworth who presented them with a slab of fruit cake made by Lawrence Centre trustee Elizabeth Parry.
Emma Healey from The Lawrence Centre charity delivered a frozen meal to Guinevere, courtesy of Cook in Broad Street, Wells. Note the social distancing!
Cook donated 10 meals to vulnerable people who attend this day centre, particularly those living alone in these difficult times.
The centre has had to be closed during the coronavirus restrictions.
“Guinevere and other members of TLC were thrilled with their meals,” said the centre’s manager Maggie Charlesworth.
Thank you Cook for supporting the Wells Coronavirus Network.
We delivered daffodils and cake to our members, carers and volunteers to hopefully bring some cheer to them over Easter. We are keeping in touch with everyone along with regular deliveries of homemade cake to lift spirits as well as the offer of any help they may need at this difficult time. Everyone is missing The Lawrence Centre and looking forward to returning when we can.
In line with recent government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic, we've taken the difficult decision to close The Lawrence Centre for the foreseeable future.
Many of our members are vulnerable and at risk of loneliness and isolation, so the Manager is contacting all our members and their carers to explain how we can support them during the closure.
We are all looking forward to the re-opening of the Centre as soon as we are advised that it is safe to do so.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about this, please contact Maggie Charlesworth on 01749 676839 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boogie Beat have teamed up with The Lawrence Centre to run a special event during Intergenerational Week.
Join us with your little ones 0-6yrs, for a fun-filled music-making session with rhymes, songs, traditional fairy tales and dancing. All props & instruments are provided - just bring yourselves!
We're sure that Boogie Beat will put a smile on everyone's face.
Please click here to reserve your space (no charge). The Boogie Beat session will run from 11-11.30am on Tuesday 24th March.
Any queries to email@example.com
Elizabeth Parry (trustee) and Maggie attended a Public Consultation meeting ‘Fit For My Future’ on Thursday evening 6th February about proposals to change the location of acute mental health beds for adults of working age. One of the propositions is to close our local St Andrew’s Ward and move it to Yeovil.
TLC will be opening its door on Saturday 25th January and then on the last Saturday of each Month.
The format of the day will be relaxed and informal and will be run by Emma and Liz.
Opening 10.00am - 2.30pm
Chloe Allen organised a fantastic Festive Coffee morning in aid of The Lawrence Centre last Saturday. Chloe made lots of lovely Christmas gifts and decorations as well as yummy cakes and mince pies. It was very well attended and enjoyed by lots. The Lawrence Centre really thanks Chloe and her family for their ongoing support of The Lawrence Centre. A superb £270 was raised.
The Lawrence Centre was one of many charities with a stand at the One World Fair in Wells Town Hall on Saturday 19th October. Pictured left is Claire Chettoe, one of the helpers at TLC and Maggie Charlesworth who manages the charity.
TLC is proud to play a major part in the City of WellsDementia Action Alliance.
A full house packed Screen 1 at Wells Cinema to see Judy on October 4 and all thoroughly enjoyed it. Over £800 was raised for TLC from ticket sales and a raffle where the main prize was a Queen Street Deli luxury hamper, kindly donated by Bowleys Garage, of Westfield Trading Estate.
TLC Trustee Richard Leworthy who organised the event was very pleased with the result. ‘We’d like to thank all those who came to this special screening and to Wells Cinema staff for being so accommodating - it was a great evening thoroughly enjoyed by all’.