“Instead of tearful goodbyes, we will be welcoming a new committee”- lifeline for Dunmow Disabled Club as new volunteers offer to step in to committee posts

Dunmow Disabled Club celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2014 and will keep going for another year.

Dunmow Disabled Club celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2014 and will keep going for another year. - Credit: Archant

Members of a closure-threatened disabled club cheered when they discovered the charity will keep going for another year.

The Dunmow Disabled Club would have closed in December after more than 60 years, if a new committee could not be formed to replace retiring volunteers.

However, during a crunch meeting on September 25, where the fate of the club was discussed, four people stepped up to fill the roles of chairman, treasurer, secretary and event secretary. Several other volunteers will also be on the committee and it has been agreed that the club will go on for another year.

The club's monthly meetings are regularly attended by about 35 members. As well as meeting on the second Wednesday of the month, six outings a year are organised by volunteers.

Out-going chairman Margaret Joyce said: "I am really pleased and relieved. When we announced the closure members were saying 'what are we going to do?' There are new people asking to come along [to the club]. You have a hip operation or a stroke and all of a sudden you become disabled."

The day after the crucial meeting, about 30 members attended a planned outing to a Van Hague garden centre and cheered when Margaret told them the good news.

If a new committee could not be found, the last planned event for members was a Christmas party in December. Mrs Joyce, who will take on the ceremonial role of club president when she leaves her post, said: "Instead of tearful goodbyes, we will be welcoming a new committee."

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Out-going figures will mentor and help the volunteers with their new roles, she said.

The club was founded as the Dunmow Physical Handicapped Club in 1954 and members pay £10 a year.

The monthly meetings include activities such as talks, musical performances and shows; whilst the outings include trips to museums, gardens and London theatres.

The club receives funding through raffles, a summer fair, legacies and donations from local organisations. Over the past few years these have included £400 from the town's bowls club and £500 from the Dunmow Carnival Committee. Members were informed of the committee's decision to stand down at the club's annual meeting on May 8.

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