FOLLOWING the recent announcement that Age UK West Cumbria will be forced to close, a local community has launched a fundraiser with the aim of continuing its services. 

Cumbria CommuniTea Care are a small community group hoping to establish as a charity, which would be dedicated to supporting elderly day service users in Workington and the surrounding local area.

Age UK West Cumbria released a statement earlier this month, announcing that on May 31, 2024, it will cease operating.

Citing a 'number of financial challenges', a spokesperson from the charity said the board of trustees have now made the 'difficult decision', which means is will not continue offering services to older people across West Cumbria after the end of this month.

The charity offered vital support and services to older people in the area, and now Cumbria CommuniTea Care are looking to raise the funds necessary to set up a new charity and ensure that those services can continue.

On Facebook, they wrote: "With the closure of Age UK West Cumbria this month, many in our aging community, and their family and support network are losing a vital lifeline.

"We are a group of ex-Age UK West Cumbria employees stepping in to ensure that our elderly neighbours continue to receive the care, companionship, and support they deserve.

"The money raised will go towards a new Day Service provision in Workington run by the staff that the service users know and love.

"Our mission goes beyond services – we are a family. We are committed to creating a warm, welcoming environment where every individual feels valued and connected.

"Your help and support are crucial to making this possible.

"Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our cherished elders."

News and Star: The team providing the day services are a family - David McCallum with baby JaxThe team providing the day services are a family - David McCallum with baby Jax (Image: Supplied)

The day services is currently run by Amy Hocking, who was due to come back off maternity next week.

She says: "We have worked hard getting to know each client individually, which has lead to us building strong and meaningful relationships with them and their families.

"The service users rely on us for many different reasons such as preventing isolation and loneliness.

"It provides respite for families and carers, and building friendships with people of a similar age with similar interests.

"The Day Centre is a place to get out, have fun and relax, and I don't want to see this taken away from them."

News and Star: Christmas at the day centreChristmas at the day centre (Image: Supplied)

Polly Harris, who is at the forefront of the CommuniTea group, added: "We only found out that Wednesday is the last day of the day service as the whole charity closes on Friday.

"It was a huge shock and there have been lots of tears and confusion amongst the service users who don’t know where to turn. 

"All help will be gratefully received and put to use to set up a new provision for existing and new users."

Cumbria CommuniTea Care are aiming to raise £5000 on their JustGiving page, and you can donate here.