South Leeds charity’s £8,000 boost hoped to help launch social centre for over 60s

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An £8,000 windfall is hoped to help a well-loved Middleton charity give elderly residents a community hub.

Middleton Elderly Aid has been named as one of the good causes to win one of Asda’s 50th Birthday Community Grants, which mark half a century of the brand.

The Middleton charity currently opens for residents at a number of centres every week including its charity shop, off Middleton Park Road, St Cross Church Hall, St Mary’s Parochial Hall and Middleton Park Court.

Dawn Austwick, chief officer at Middleton Elderly Aid, hopes the Asda grant will help the charity pay for a new kitchen as it bids to establish a new centre in the area this year that can open to over 60s five days a week.

She is also in talks with a partner to open a weekend venture for the elderly offering breakfast and lunch.

“We want to create a social centre for older people living in Middleton. There’s nowhere that they can walk in every day at the moment,” she said.

“The funding is massive, it means we can immediately put a new kitchen in, and it would be built not just for us but for members to use for different activities like our baking group. It’s impact is immediate.

“If we were fundraising, we might still have been saving for that project a year down the line.”

Middleton Elderly Aid’s plans for a new centre should become clearer later this week when Dawn meets with Leeds City Council to discuss possible locations.

The charity was set up in 1989 with the aim of helping senior citizens continue to live independently for as long as possible.

Its services include home visits, coffee mornings, a lunch club, dance classes, baking, knitting and computer access groups as well as day trips and general help and advice.

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