Some of the staff at The Meadows

Charity brings people together

If it wasn’t for a Spalding charity, it’s possible next door neighbours Marie Baker-Dixon and Bob Elliss would have never met.

But that’s what The Meadows does, helps bring people together who might otherwise be on their own.

Marie (85) was brought to the area from Ashton Under Lyme two years ago by her daughter to be looked after and realising she didn’t know anyone in the area, heard about the charity based at the Sir John Van Geest Centre which puts on full weekday sessions of activities and food for its clients.

Transport from her doorstep is included and it was only at the centre off Park Road that she met 90-year-old Bob, who is her next door neighbour.

“I love coming here because of the company and the friends I’ve made,” said Marie.

Pictured (from left) are Marie Baker-DIxon (85), Greta Wilkinson (87), Kubra Tijoriwala (82) and Bob Elliss (90) enjoying a game of dominoes at The Meadows.

“I look forward to coming every Monday and Wednesday all the time,” adds Bob over the game of dominoes taking place. “It’s very good value for money, they put on activities and you get a lovely two-course meal.”

The Meadows is a not-for- profit organisation to provide somewhere for the elderly to go initially built by Help The Aged following a donation from the South Holland food magnate who the building is named after.

It went on its own as a charity in 2019, but the aim continues to be to bring the elderly together on weekdays.

For £28 a day without transport or £33 with the shuttle bus from the door, users are provided food throughout and entertainments by the eight members of staff and 19 volunteers.

Tony Goodman and Joycelyn Ellis

They have visits from entertainers, including singers, and a Horticultural Club in which lavender bags were created last time around.

On Wednesday, January 25 The Meadows is holding an open day where anyone is invited.

“We wanted to invite people to come along and see what we do,” said Maisie Wenham of The Meadows management team.

“It could be for the person themselves or maybe for those that have a relative who would benefit from getting out the house and enjoying some company with our staff, volunteers and many others their age in a nice warm place.

“It won’t be very formal. We just want people to come along and have a look.

Pictured from left are volunteer Macel Mason, David Clegg, Cedric Leek, volunteer Emma Cross and Sheila Cherry.

“We believe we’re very low cost. You wouldn’t be able to get transport, a nice warm place, two-course meal, cakes in the afternoon entertainment and games plus coffee and tea all day for £33. It would just about cover the taxi cost.”

The charity is also helped by some excellent volunteers and always on the look out for more.

Macel Mason has been doing that at The Meadows for eight years.

“It’s a lovely place,” she said.

For more information contact 01775 720305 or visit

* As well as the open day on January 25, The Meadows are holding a fundraising bingo night on Friday, March 24. Entry is 50p with doors opening at 6.30pm and its eyes down at 7.30pm.

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