Barbara gives her award to good cause

he winner of a Fairlight community award has donated her prize money to the Marsham Older People's Project (MOPPS).

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 12:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:57 pm
Shirley Gilbert SUS-160523-112841001

The John Lutman award is presented each year by Fairlight Parish Council to a well-deserving person in the local community.

This year the recipient was Shirley Gilbert, who has been involved in many clubs in the village as secretary for the past 22 years including the village hall, the W.I., the bowls club and Mopp’s.

Shirley did not hesitate to donate the £150 prize money to MOPPS.

MOPPS chairman Jim Saphin said: “I would like to say a huge thank-you to Shirley for this generous donation.”

The Marsham Older People’s Project is a day centre for seniors, which is held at Fairlight Village Hall every Friday between 10am and 2.30pm.

It provides users with a hot meal and social activity and has played an important role in helping to combat isolation in the community.

Users also enjoy special celebrations, often with live entertainment and dancing.

Specialist Services attend the centre, including pension advice, Trading Standards, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, solicitors, chiropody and other professional services.

MOPPS celebrated its eighth anniversary this year, but the origins of the project go back a decade when founder Sylvia Gutsell first identified the need and came up with the idea.

I took two years before the club was up and running. Now it is going from strength to strength and fulfilling a growing demand.

There are over 1500 people over 60 living in Fairlight, Guestling and Pett (out of a population of 3697) with over 300 living alone.

The 2001 census showed that Fairlight has the highest percentage of older people in England and Wales. Access to public transport in these villages are minimal.

Jim Saphin said: “The MOPPs project believes that a day away from home can offer many benefits. It can provide something to look forward to each week, stimulation and enjoyment.”

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