Charity to reopen after pandemic with refurbished centre

Shonette Mooney, manager of Dereham Meeting Point

Manager Shonette Mooney said that Dereham Meeting Point, located just off St Withburga Lane, was looking forward to welcoming members back after 17 months of closure. - Credit: Noah Vickers/Dereham Meeting Point

A social centre for over-55s and disabled people in a Norfolk market town is set to reopen after 17 months of closure with a spruced-up centre.
Dereham Meeting Point, a charity which also hosts the Dementia Friendly Dereham group, will welcome its members back on Monday, July 26.
Manager Shonette Mooney said: “The 23rd of March, 2020, seems such a long time ago and [it was] a very sad day when we closed.
“We have made several attempts to open, but with the three lockdowns it’s been very difficult.
“It is with a heavy heart that we realise there will be several of our members who will not be coming back for one reason or the other. They will be sorely missed.
“We are hoping that along with our regular members we will be welcoming plenty of new faces who can try out our delicious home cooked lunches and join in all the activities that will slowly be returning.

Dereham Meeting Point staff Claire Raper, Shonette Mooney and Louise Iverson

Dereham Meeting Point staff, left to right: cook Claire Raper, manager Shonette Mooney and assistant manager Louise Iverson. - Credit: Dereham Meeting Point

“We will be remaining cautious and asking the members to comply with some of the measures that we are still keeping in place like face masks, social distancing and hand sanitising.
“Although lunches will resume on the 26th, most of our regular activities will start from Monday the 3rd of August such as crib, bingo and entertainment like sing-along with Val and Mr Mix It.”
“Our art classes will resume from August 12, plus memory clubs for those who are in the early stages of dementia.”
She added: “We also hope to introduce new activities and have an outing booked to the theatre in September.”
Thanks to some accumulated grants and donations, the centre has enjoyed a refurb to its interior, with new floors put in and furniture reupholstered, as well having as a new mini-kitchen fitted.

Re-upholstered furniture at Dereham Meeting Point

Furniture at the centre has been smartly re-upholstered - Credit: Dereham Meeting Point

Ms Mooney thanked Swaffham’s S&B Joinery for providing their labour at a discounted price.

A freshly-laid new floor at Dereham Meeting Point

A freshly-laid new floor at Dereham Meeting Point - Credit: Dereham Meeting Point

Meanwhile, a £1000 community grant from Tesco has allowed the centre to make improvements to its outdoor garden space and purchase equipment for activities. 

The outdoor space at Dereham Meeting Point

A community grant from Tesco has enabled the charity to make improvements to its outdoor space. - Credit: Dereham Meeting Point

“We’ve already bought some plants with it,” said Ms Mooney.
For further information or to book an appointment to visit the centre, you can contact Ms Mooney by emailing or phoning 01362 698866