New daytime support system given full marks by Michael from Banbury

Michael Wardell from Banbury didn’t know what to expect when his regular place to receive daytime support was re-located on October 1.

A month later he says he and the other people who now attend the Banbury Community Support Service in the town would never want to go back.

“I attended Stanbridge House for around four years” said Michael, 69, who is diagnosed with diabetes and recently had a stroke. “Redlands is bigger and there are more staff here.

“I can’t praise it enough. At Stanbridge House all the women used to gather together at one end of the room and all the men at the other. At Redlands we all mix together. It’s a real contrast and it’s absolutely magic. I talk so much more.”

Michael has lived in Banbury for 42 years having moved to the town from Croydon in London. He had been a sheet metalworker during his working life and in his retirement he now lives on the Ruscote Estate in the town.

“My wife brings me to Redlands every day although some people get here via a taxi system. It’s open from 9:30am to 3:30pm and we have sandwiches for lunch. It’s also possible to have a simple hot meal.

“The other people who come to Redlands agree with me. We like it here. The staff are so nice and they go out of their way to help you. They cater for everybody to the best of their ability.”

Redlands, in Banbury became one of eight Daytime Support facilities in Oxfordshire catering for older people and people with learning disabilities. The other council Community Support Services are in Abingdon, Bicester, Didcot, Oxford, Wallingford, Wantage and Witney.

It was recently renovated and has a large accessible garden, a sensory room, and a pamper room and offers therapeutic activities such as arts/crafts, music, drama, reminiscence and life stories.

Kate Terroni, the Director for Adult Social Care at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Following extensive consultation, we have been carefully planning for the new Community Support Services to go live on 1 October 2017. The new service presented a big change for people and a month into the new model it’s really good to get such positive feedback from Michael and other people who attend Redlands.

“We have achieved our aim of making sure everybody with an eligible assessed care need has been offered a place at our eight centres and by working with Age UK Oxfordshire we’ve ensured everybody else who wants daytime support has been offered a solution to meet their individual circumstances. A small number of those are at our eight centres but the majority have been found support at one of the 200 thriving voluntary sector daytime support facilities in the county.

“We look forward to the new services going from strength to strength and my thanks go to the staff and service users at Redlands, including Michael.