That’s the proud achievement of Age Concern Eastbourne, which held a day of celebration to mark the anniversary.

Its other key aim is to avoid people feeling isolated and lonely as they grow old, and to make them socially engaged.

That was certainly the case on Celebration day as around 200 people took part in various activities between 10am and 2pm.

This was followed by a gathering of volunteers and VIPs, including Mayor Candy Vaughan who cut a cake and Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex Tim Cobb, who planted a memorial cherry tree outside the front of the centre in Junction Road.

Age Concern supports around 600 people and offers more than 40 activities, including belly dancing, art, cafe open to all, hairdressers and other clubs.

Manager John Trainor – who has been with the charity since 2013 – said: “Most of the people who come here are in their 70s but that really does not have to be the case.

“Some are in their 50s, and we offer a very warm and welcoming environment.”

Age Concern has 101 volunteers – incredibly it has lost 150 since Covid.

John said: “We do need volunteers, and this can be so rewarding. For some of those we lost, I think they literally got out of the habit, and of course for some there is still concern about Covid, and we have to respect that.”

Age Concern has four shops – in Grove Road, Green Street, Langney Shopping Centre and Hampden Park.

It also runs three Sheds – one for arts and crafts in Brassey Avenue, Hampden Park; one in Langney Priory on Etchingham Road; and one on Myrtle Road, Seaside.

John said: “The Sheds are so important to us and we have just secured five years more funding from the National Lottery.

“They are places for older people to go but, importantly, to go and actually do something. At Hampden Park’s Shed, it’s arts and crafts, which attracts more women than men.

“The one at Langney Priory is more about power drills and saws so that naturally attracts more men, as does the one at Myrtle Road, which focuses on making stuff with your hands.”

The charity also offers a Homecare service, helping people in their homes. There is a charge and any profit goes back into the charity.

John said: “It’s all about social engagement. We are very grateful to the late Patricia Venton, who funded the opening of the building back in 2000.

“We were honoured to welcome the Prince of Wales on the day perform the official opening.”

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