“A Day Centre for the charity has been our dream since day one,” says Jimmy Jukes MBE - the charity’s founder. “The A&E Elkin Day Centre allows our boys and girls to get off the streets on a daily basis to somewhere they feel safe and secure in a dry and warm environment. And we’ve now got a permanent base which is easier for them to find us, rather than our teams going out trying to find them when they need help.”
The centre was refurbished and opened in March 2015 with the generous support of local tradespeople and contractors, and a big thank you goes out to Ray Elkin, Rodney Miller, Joanne, Bruce and everyone else involved. “We couldn’t have done it without you,” says Jimmy.
As well as the offices which coordinate the outreach projects and fundraising, there are a range of rooms and facilities to help our homeless ex-service personnel:
IT Suite – where we can teach people basic computing skills, work on their CVs, apply for jobs online and also enable them to keep in contact with friends and family.
Mini Gym – with running machine, exercise bike and multi-gym
Relaxation Area – to watch TV and films, or just sit and chat
Canteen – Providing refreshments throughout the day, all free of charge
Counselling Room – this is where a lot of services are offered including PTSD support, other forms of counselling, advice on housing, benefits etc, or complementary therapies like reiki. It is sound proofed and so people can speak in complete confidence. (This room is kindly sponsored by Hargold.)
In the near future, there are also plans to have a shower room installed, and a stair lift for those with mobility issues.
Jimmy is delighted with the feedback that the Day Centre has achieved so far. “It’s been such a success, that we hope to open up more day centres as we go along.”