Caption: L-R STEP's Wendy Moore, Janice Wheatley and Pam Gaunt are handed the keys to their new base by Councillor Adam Ogilvie.
A DEVOTED team of volunteers who offer a lifeline to older people in the Kirkstall area have been handed the keys to their new base.
The delighted manager, staff and trustees from Supporting The Elderly People (STEP) were officially given the former Queenswood Drive Day Centre to use by Leeds City Council.
Normally based at St Andrew’s Church, STEP helps over 60s in Kirkstall, Far Headingley and Weetwood to take part in a range of activities whilst also supporting them to live independently in their own homes.
One of the city’s council-funded neighbourhood networks, STEP also organise a huge variety of locally-based support services including home visits, money advice and help filling out forms.
The new base will mean STEP can open every weekday, enabling them to arrange activities including a café, dancing and exercise classes.
Wendy Moore, manager of STEP, said:
“We are very excited that we now have our very own building, thanks to Leeds City Council’s adult social care and asset management.
“The new premises will enable us to open Mon-Fri, giving over 60’s somewhere to come each day.
“We will have a drop in café every morning 10am-1pm where friends can meet to catch up, we will also have regular activities each afternoon which will include dancing, exercise, IT and many more.
“There will always be staff on hand to offer advice on any concerns that members may have. The centre needs a little TLC but we should be open for business in February.”
Leeds currently has 37 neighbourhood networks working across the city, which support more than 21,900 older people in their communities.
Earlier this year, Leeds’s networks were praised in a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research which highlighted them as example of good practice which should be replicated nationally.
Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, who met with STEP to talk about their plans for the site and handed them the keys, said:
“Like all our neighbourhood networks, STEP are fantastic example of the positive impact that locally-based activities and support, run by people who know and love the area, can make to the lives of older people.
“This also demonstrates what can be accomplished by innovative and determined local organisations, who can come forward and work with us on their ideas to bring sites like this back into use.
“By encouraging this sort of civic enterprise, we can help these groups and the people they work with to have greater choice and control over what’s on offer for those living in their communities.”
For more information about STEP, visit: www.stepleeds.org.uk
For information about your local neighbourhood network, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Support-organisations-and-neighbourhood-network-schemes.aspx
For media enquiries, please contact:
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937