Closure of Age UK day centres in Hendon and East Finchley pushed back 12 months after outcry

Times Series: Louise Jennings, 91, chatting with friends at the Ann Owens Centre in East Finchley soon after the closure was announced Louise Jennings, 91, chatting with friends at the Ann Owens Centre in East Finchley soon after the closure was announced

Age UK Barnet has announced it will continue running two popular day centres for a further 12 months after previously announcing they would close.

The charity said it could not afford to run the Meritage and Ann Owens Centres under its new contract with Barnet Council, which incorporates a new range of borough-wide activities.

But after an outcry from clients, carers and volunteers, the charity has agreed to keep the centres open until March 2015.

The Meritage Centre, in Church End, Hendon, and the Ann Owens Centre, in Oak Lane, East Finchley, will both remain open for two days a week.

The charity has promised it will not be making any day centre staff redundant but said it does not expect to be in a position to extend the services beyond March next year.

Age UK Barnet says it will continue to provide transport for its clients, as well as a hot meal and activities at the centres.

A spokesperson said: “We have always been very proud of our day services. We know how much they are needed, but the letters and words from clients, carers and volunteers, have touched us all.

“We want to allow more time over this 12 months to help our clients get the support they will need to transfer to the neighbourhood services already up and running.”

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