Locals enjoy ‘emotional’ reunion after 15 months at Aintree Community Centre

Locals enjoy ‘emotional’ reunion after 15 months at Aintree Community Centre

by Tom Martin (June 2021)

RESIDENTS enjoyed some afternoon tea at Aintree Community Centre for the first time in 15 months!

The venue had been used as a vaccination hub until May 31 by the NHS, but the lease has now expired.

Bobbie Jennings, the Aintree Pensioners Club organiser said: “When I mentioned the opportunity for afternoon tea my phone didn’t stop. Some of our group hadn’t spoken to each other since March last year. It was wonderful to be part of this and see the joy on people’s faces, we have really missed each other.”

Molyneux Ward Councillors Marion Atkinson and Paula Murphy welcomed residents back to the centre last week.

Cllr Atkinson said: “The centre has played a key role in supporting the vaccination programme and the NHS staff and volunteers have been amazing. Moving forward the centre will continue to play a key role in rebuilding our community with get togethers such as this to combat social isolation, address the mental health impacts the pandemic has created and to get vital groups such as our disabled children’s youth club, elderly health and wellbeing events, and all of the other fantastic work that goes on here back on track in a safe, socially distanced manner.”

Cllr Paula Murphy added: “I don’t need an excuse to go for afternoon tea but this has been an incredible and quite emotional day. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

“Our younger members of the community also need support so we are working closely with local football clubs, groups and parents to ensure we support them in whatever way we can. The centre is integral to getting back to what our new normal is.”

The Champion reported last week how a volunteer at the Aintree Community Centre vaccination programme criticised Sefton Council for forcing the people behind the scheme to find alternative premises.

The ‘licence to occupy’ agreement, which the council entered in to with Aintree Primary Care Network to run the scheme at the location, finished at the end of May, and was not renewed.

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