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Boost for Silver Rooms pensioners

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 01 July 2010

Opening of the sensory garden at Magdalen Gates Pre-school.

Opening of the sensory garden at Magdalen Gates Pre-school.

Dan Grimmer

Pensioners fighting to keep their beloved day centre open have been shown the younger generation considers them to be at the very heart of their community - after they were invited to the opening of a new sensory garden at a nearby pre-school.

Pensioners fighting to keep their beloved day centre open have been shown the younger generation considers them to be at the very heart of their community - after they were invited to the opening of a new sensory garden at a nearby pre-school.

The Silver Rooms in Silver Road is earmarked for gradual closure by Norfolk County Council, with people who meet there offered alternative care elsewhere.

But yesterday youngsters from Magdalen Gates Primary School's pre-school showed what it means to them to have the pensioners as their neighbours.

The pre-school obtained £300 through a participatory budget scheme run by Norwich City Council and has used the money to create a sensory garden near its Bull Close Road classrooms.

Pensioners from the Silver Rooms were invited to the official opening of the garden yesterday, with 10 of them heading for the school to join the celebrations.

Nicky Hudson, chairman of the pre-school management committee, thanked local companies and parents for helping get the gardens ready and said: “One of our main aims when applying for the grant for the garden was to involve the local community.

“This has been achieved in many ways, from allowing passers-by to smell the lavender and look at the colourful plants, to involving our neighbours at the Silver Rooms in celebrating the completion of the garden.”

More than 2,200 people signed a petition calling for the Silver Rooms to be kept open and Julie Brociek-Coulton, city councillor for Sewell ward and a member of the Friends of the Silver Rooms - which wants to take over the running of the centre - said the event demonstrated the esteem the club was held in.

The county council has agreed to keep open the option of a community group taking over the running of the rooms, with a new partnership involving Age Concern Norwich and city council coming up with alternative places for 'friendship groups' to go to, such as housing with care and sheltered housing schemes.

Do you think the Silver Rooms should be kept open? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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