05:03AM, Monday 18 February 2013
Regulars who use Old Windsor Day Centre are trying to put a brave face on an uncertain future this week.
The committee that runs the charity behind the centre is meeting on Thursday, February 28, to decide its future. But one member warned this week that the centre could not carry on in its present form.
Chris Andrews is Old Windsor Parish Council's representative on the charity. He said the Royal Borough could not be relied on to continue subsidising the centre at the £17,000 rate it contributed last year.
He said: "The rest of the money comes from membership and internal fundraising. But increasingly there aren't enough members.
"The new Facebook campaign to save the centre is all very well but we are too far down the road now. The Day Centre in its present form has outlived its usefulness.
"I don't think we can carry on providing the limited service it does at the moment. It is in no-one's interest. This has become little more than a social club for a small number of people."
He hinted that a new organisation with different ideas for the centre might be prepared to take over and widen its remit, although this is not being confirmed yet.
Manager Julie White, who has run the centre since the Queen opened it 23 years ago has seen membership drop from 300 to about 127. She is one of three employees, including deputy Tracey Chaplin who could lose their jobs if the centre closes.
Julie said: "It would be a tragedy if it shuts. Members are taking it very badly. It is their lifeline for a lot of them."
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