Social club for the disabled shuts its doors

Members of the St Raphael's Club held at Cresset Day Centre at their last meeting EMN-160903-213543009
Members of the St Raphael's Club held at Cresset Day Centre at their last meeting EMN-160903-213543009
0
Have your say

A social club has shut its doors after nearly 60 years of bringing people with disabilities together.

The St Raphael Club of Peterborough was formed in 1958 with the help and support of Peterborough Rotary Club and the city council, but its 12 existing members bade it farewell this month at their last meeting.

The club’s aim was to “provide social and leisure activities for physically disabled adults,” and in its heyday club membership averaged over 60 people.

Melvyn Hill (80) from Sutton, near Ailsworth, was the club’s treasurer. He said: “There were many members but with the passing of time some activities became more accessible thanks to the internet.

“In the last 15-20 years it’s been difficult to continue, but we have done so thanks to a few people who have been willing to donate. Despite the dwindling numbers they are all very sad to see it disappear but we will run out of money shortly.

“The biggest cost we have is the cost of transport to bring them together.”

For the first three years the club met in the St John Ambulance Hut in Cowgate, and recently meetings were held every fortnight at the Day Centre in The Cresset, Bretton, where people could socialise and play games such as dominoes and bingo.

Melvyn added: “They appreciated the smaller things in life from talking to people of similar ages or everyday activities. We were very pleased to bring them together so they had something to do, otherwise they would have nothing to look forward to. We’ve all grown old together really.”

John Marshall (85) who was a member of the club for 54 years, said: “I’m very disappointed it’s closed. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. I will stay in during the evenings now.”