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30th August 2001   Serve Website Is Launched
The new Serve website has been launched. The website, which was designed in house contains information about the services that SERVE provide to the community. The website will be updated regularly with news and information about SERVE. Please explore the site using the menu on the left hand site of the screen. If you have any comment or queries about the site please send them to

June 2001 Serve Open Day
On Saturday 9th June, SERVE held a Fete and Open Day at Rushden Hall.

The event was to show the community what SERVE has to offer and to try and raise some money at the same time. We would like to thank all the staff and volunteers who kindly helped on the day.

We managed to raise £800 with the help of companies who generously donated items for our raffle.



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May 2001 New Vehicle Hits The Streets
Thanks to the generosity of local people, organisations and national charities, a new vehicle bearing the red SERVE logo is now visible on the streets of Rushden and surrounding areas.

In May, a new Multi Purpose vehicle with mechanical lifting gear for wheelchairs was acquired at a cost of £17,000.

This new vehicle will give SERVE much greater flexibility in scheduling journeys to the Day Centres and, being smaller, can be used for individual transportation.

The official handover ceremony was held recently and was attended by the Mayor of Rushden Cllr Clive Woods, the Chairman of East Northants District Council Cllr Albert Campbell together with representatives of major donors, Rushden Golf Club, Barclays Bank and The Lloyds/TSB Foundation.

May 2001 New Mayor New Centre & Day Centre Renamed
The Ron Manning Centre Is Officially OpenedThe recently installed Mayor of Higham Ferrers, Cllr Anna Sauntson, officially opened the Ron Manning Centre in Higham Ferrers by unveiling a plaque.

Although the Centre has been running for some months it has only recently started opening for five days a week and now has a full time Manager, Mrs Christine Slater.

The Centre is appropriately named after a very prominent local volunteer who devoted his time in keeping the streets of Higham Ferrers clean and litter free and who unfortunately died a couple of years ago.

The Ron Manning Centre offers a useful and needy extra service on Monday and Friday when it caters for clients who require more attention and care in bathing.

The Crane Centre, which is in the grounds of Rushden Hospital, Wymington Road, has been re-named The Sylvia Smith Centre.

At a presentation ceremony during the SERVE Open Day at Rushden Hall, a brass plaque was presented to Sylvia Smith which will be displayed at the Centre.

Operations Director Barry Graves, who has taken over from Sylvia, said "This is in recognition of the years of dedicated service that Sylvia has given both to SERVE and the people of Rushden. The old Crane was Sylvia’s idea and the introduction of a Health Farm was both innovative and professional and reflects Sylvia’s attitude to care".

The Chairman of the Management Committee, Peter Pillai, also paid tribute to Sylvia during the presentation and wished her a long and happy retirement.

April 2001 Accident Prevention Scheme
SERVE has launched a new service aimed at reducing accidents in the home. The scheme, which is funded by the NHS, Northants County Council and Age Concern, Rushden, operates throughout East Northants and is available to anyone who is over 60 years of age or disabled.

A volunteer who is suitably trained will visit the house and assess the work that is required and, providing it is within his scope, will pass the enquiry to SERVE’s Handyman for completion.

The type of work covers things like installing grab rails, changing light bulbs and fixing loose carpets. Any work that cannot be handled by the Handyman is referred to other agencies such as Care & Repair. Advice is also given where necessary on any available grant aid that may be available. The only charge for the work is for the materials used.

SERVE are working with Volunteer Action in Oundle to ensure that the whole of the area is covered and the scheme was officially launched by Phil Hope MP at the end of April. Following the launch Barry Graves said "There is a need to try to eliminate accidents in the home. Some 87% of all accidents involving the elderly occur at home. SERVE are pioneering this scheme in East Northants and I am certain that it will grow enormously over the coming months".

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