A group that has just celebrated 50 years of helping the elderly has been forced to close.
The Pagham Association for the Elderly has been bringing older people together since 1967.
“Sadly, with numbers declining and costs increasing, the officers and committee felt that the association could not continue beyond this year,” the group said in a letter to the Observer.
“It was with great regret that at an extraordinary meeting held on November 1, that the members agreed that the association should be wound up as from that date, and the assets should be divided equally between St Wilfrid’s Hospice and the Sammy Community Transport organisation.
“In the meanwhile, the officers and committee continue to wind up all the affairs of the association.
The group marked their half century milestone with a low profile celebratory tea in July.
In 1967, Pagham Parish Council, the village’s three churches, local doctors and residents’ association saw the need for senior citizens to meet.
They did not want people to be isolated so formed The Pagham Association so people could meet to share their company and activities.
“One of the stalwart members, Mrs Helena Marie Lyth, who died earlier this year, had been on the committee 25 years, and 20 of those years as secretary,” the letter said.
“In 2009 she received the Observer newspaper ‘Best Neighbour Award’.
“We had been hoping to hold a Thanksgiving service for her life – but, with illness in her family this has been delayed indefinitely.
“A lot of changes have taken place over 50 years, not least that people are more affluent today, and have more choices how to spend their time and money.
“Hopefully all the needs for elderly in the community will be catered for.”
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