Cllr Rufia Ashraf, who became Northampton’s 781st Mayor and the first Northampton Town Council Mayor in May 2021, has had a very busy year, so staff, volunteers and clients at Age UK Northamptonshire were thrilled that she was able to squeeze in a visit to the William and Patricia Venton Centre before her term as Mayor ends on 16th May.
Age UK Northamptonshire’s Chief Executive Chris Duff and the Deputy Manager Alex Knight were delighted to welcome the Mayor to the day centre in York Road on Friday 22nd April so that she could view the facilities and talk to staff and clients. As a trained social worker with a passion for community work the Mayor was keen to see first hand the positive difference coming to the centre makes to nearly 80 older people every week. Cllr Ashraf said it was clear to see that being able to socialise and meet up with friends makes a huge difference to people’s wellbeing and gives them something to look forward to every week.
Cllr Ashraf said “I am very pleased to see so many older people here at the day centre today because the coronavirus pandemic has restricted everyone’s ability to see their family and friends. It has been a difficult period for many people, especially if you live alone. It is always nice to see a friend and to have someone to chat to. I know that the day centre also gives families a break from caring responsibilities which is hugely welcome.”
Chris Duff was pleased to bring the Mayor up-to-date with the current situation for Age UK Northamptonshire and to explain how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the charity’s finances. Cllr Ashraf said she was glad to hear that the charity’s services have continued to support local older people throughout the pandemic and that Age UK Northamptonshire is expanding and developing its services in the county.
Chris Duff said “We are grateful to Cllr Ashraf for finding the time to visit us during her eventful year as Mayor of Northampton. Many people living in Northamptonshire do not have access to the internet and it can be particularly difficult for frail older people to find out what help is available to them, so we are always thrilled when local Councillors visit us on behalf of their community and offer to help spread the word.”
To find out more about the services and support provided by Age UK Northamptonshire, or to get involved with fundraising activities, please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/northamptonshire or call 01604 611200.