Published: May 24, 2011
New club for people with learning difficulties opens in Burnham

A new day centre has opened in Burnham-On-Sea this week aimed at helping people with learning disabilities.

The Burnham Area Youth Centre in Cassis Close has launched its weekly Monday Club to provide local people with learning difficulties the opportunity to meet and socialise.

The club also offers the visitors a chance to participate in a wide range of activities in line with the new government policy of social inclusion.

The project has no budget, but founder Julia Elswood told "We have started with enthusiasm. Generous donations of time from our three volunteers have provided what we needed for the first two open days."

"We have a 'rent holiday' for the hall and hope to get to break-even before donations in kind and time run out."

Julia added: "I want to offer the opportunity for people to do ordinary things that a lot of us take for granted such as using the Internet, socialising and having a laugh. Carers have a tough job and I want to create an environment that is comfortable and sociable for them too."

"Members do not have to commit to coming every week. Some people may like to drop in occasionally, and the 'pay as you go' system means we need as many members as we can to become financially viable."

"All of the people who have come so far were at a loose end and were looking for somewhere to go."

Founder members Phil and Andrew - who have learning disabilities - have also helped to set the project up.

The Monday Club's support service for people with Learning Disabilities and their carers costs individuals £10 each, including a lunch.

Pictured: (Top) Volunteers Sue, Shirley, Phil, Andrew, Julia Elswood, and town councillor Mike Mansfield celebrating the launch with orange juice; (Centre) Organiser Julia Elswood and volunteer organiser Phil; (Above) Carers, members and volunteers at Monday's launch session


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