30 Years of Professional Care
The 2nd of September 1989 saw the opening of Over Day Centre, a care facility championed by Over Surgery GP, Dr. Pamela Cressey. Supported by her medical practice partner, Dr. Fiona Waters and Over vicar Rev. Giles Ecclestone, Dr. Cressey set up a trust - The Over Day Centre Association - (ODCA) to seek financial support for her vision of a village based medical amenity where, to quote Dr. Cressey: "frailer patients could spend a day being cared for by others, and at the same time have their medical needs assessed and treated on-site".
The first Day Centre was a portakabin donated by the Cambridge Family Health Authority (CFHA) that doubled as the surgery whilst a permanent building on Drings Close in Over was being built. By 1992 Dr. Cressey had secured further funding from the CFHA to add an extension to the portakabin that could accommodate five hospital beds for use by patients that either lived alone and needed additional medical care, or for older people who had been released from hospital after illness, but needed an extended time of respite. Two nurses and additional equipment (such as a special bath for assisted bathing) were funded, in part, by the CFHA with further costs being met by Lifespan, Social Services, ODCA fundraising and individual client fees. In the first two years of charitable work, around two hundred clients made use of the new care facility. Demand for the Day Centre was so high, in fact, that the charity bought a secondhand minibus from 'Help The Aged' to offer a free transportation service to and from the amenity.
1997 saw South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) buy land in proximity to Over Surgery in order to build the sheltered housing scheme of Elm Court. Supported by local District Councillor, Edgar Monks (who became a trustee and then Chair of the ODCA) a new Day Centre was built adjoining the housing scheme, funded by a £90,000 grant from SCDC. The land on which the current Day Centre is built still belongs to the District Council, but the ODCA pay a peppercorn rent.
Today Dr. Cressey's care facility has a designated seating/social area, an open plan dining-room, a professionally fitted kitchen and utility, bathing facilities, three toilets, a meeting room and a hair/beauty salon. Still run as a charity, Over Day Centre is supported by an army of volunteers, and receives grants and donations from a variety of sources including local Parish Councils and Housing Associations, as well as independent fundraising groups such as the Five Pub Challenge team.
Here's to another 30 successful and happy years!