Donation to the Princes Centre

Tom Winkworth presenting a cheque for £20,000 to the Princes Centre on behalf of the Rotary Club of Princes Risborough

Tom Winkworth presenting a cheque for £20,000 to the Princes Centre on behalf of the Rotary Club of Princes Risborough

For many years the Princes Risborough Day Centre provided care for clients with mental health problems, physical and learning difficulties.  In the same building the Red Cross catered for frail and elderly patient's and in so doing also rendered respite for their carers.  Both centres were funded by Bucks County Council. 
About thirteen years ago the Day Centre was threatened with closure.  Faced with this danger, Risborough Cares Charity was established with the aim of retaining day care services at the centre.  Fortunately, the threat was abandoned and good quality care continued by staff employed by Bucks County Council.

In 2011, Bucks County Council set in motion a consultative paper entitled "Having a good day" proposing to re-organise day care in the county.  This proposal included withdrawing funding for both centres in Princes Risborough, closing them down and putting the site on the market for sale.  This would mean that anyone requiring professional services would have to travel to or Aylesbury.

Nationally, the Red Cross planned to cease providing day care services, hence closure of that centre occurred at a convenient time.
The closing date of both centres was to be June 2012.  Risborough Cares immediately launched a campaign to save the centres and organised a protest petition of over 3000 signatures.  In conjunction with the Town Council a public meeting was attended by over 200 residents.  At that meeting our MP Mr John Bercow received a standing ovation for his speech against the closure of the centres.

Finally after continued pressure extended by the Town Council, Risborough Cares and our County Councillor Carl Etholen, permission was given to the local community to provide Day Care services.  However, there would be no public funding. The terms were a peppercorn rent for two years with the option to purchase the building at the end of that period.  At this stage a Social Enterprise Group consisting of representatives from the Town Council, Churches Together, Risborough Cares Charity and the Risborough Area Partnership was set-up, the aim being to operate a combined centre, later to be title the "Princes Centre".  The group estimated the cost of the building and transient expenses until the centre was functioning on a completely self-funding basis would be.

The Rotary Club of Princes Risborough has played a major role in providing funds and members time to help the Princes Centre to become a sustainable service.

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