Wokingham and District Association
for the Elderly

Call us on 0118 978 7025
Call us on 0118 978 7025

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Patron: Lady Elizabeth Godsal

About WADE Twitter icon    Facebook icon

WADE centre buildings with van

WADE is a registered charity whose aim is to promote the welfare of the elderly in the Wokingham Borough area. The Charity was founded by the late Jean Davy, a former Mayor of Wokingham, and the Day Centre at 40 Reading Road, Wokingham was opened in 1974. Our Registered Charity Number is 1178937.

WADE membership and the use of the centre is open to anyone who is sixty or over and living in the Wokingham Borough area.

The Centre opens from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank and public holidays).

Our Patron is The Lady Elizabeth Godsal. WADE is governed by a board of Trustees, led by our Chair, Jackie Wilson.

The caring, catering and driving staff's salaries are generally covered by the charity’s funds, we only ask individual members to pay a modest annual membership fee, plus a small charge for their midday meal/refreshments, to allow us to minimize our charges to the elderly. However, WADE has to make continuous and vigorous efforts to raise funds and donations. Please do get in touch if you would like to make a contribution.

We welcome Volunteers of any age wishing to support to the aims of WADE.

What our members say

Members artworks on display
Members' art projects

"My family has always supported WADE in the past. Indeed, 40 years ago when my sister and I were at The Holt, we volunteered at WADE. So when the time came for my parents to need help, I was particularly grateful to find WADE was there for us and the staff at WADE were still willing to go that extra mile - with a smile - to help us through a difficult time."

Gillian Howell

"Staff are very caring and it is a delight to come to WADE each week. The members are so friendly and the food is excellent."

Barbie Mattacks

"I couldn't wait to come back to WADE after a spell in hospital. One word describes WADE - 'Perfect'."

Miriam Terry

"My husband and I would like to thank you for the excellent service you provide at WADE. Doreen has enjoyed coming to you and always raved about the lunches! We too have appreciated the break of a few hours that her days at WADE have afforded us."

Patricia Robson (daughter in-law)

newspaper cutting of Jean Davy
From the Wokingham Times 21 February 1980

WADE past and present

WADE was formed on 20th December 1968 by Mrs Jean Davy, the then Mayor of Wokingham with Mr Lewis Moss and others with not a penny in the bank. In fact, the Borough Council gave WADE £200 for stationery! WADE asked for the use of the old fire station, which was on the ground floor of the Town Hall, as a base for activities and this was agreed but that was the only help they asked for at that time.

WADE was initially formed with the following aims:

WADE adopted its first Constitution on 19th February 1969 and was registered as a charity on 8th October 1969.

It was a number of years before a site for the Day Centre was found. The current site, Little Court at 40 Reading Road, was heard to be empty although in a derelict state. It had been purchased by the County Council for what was then the proposed road plan for the area. WADE entered into a lease with the County Council with an option to buy if it was not needed for the road plan. The lease was agreed on 11th May 1973. The building needed £45,000 for renovation and furnishings. Wokingham Borough Council, the District Council and the County Council between them donated £20,000 towards the renovation; WADE along with local organisations and individuals produced the remaining £25,000 and the buildings opened as the Day Centre in 1974.

In 1981 Little Court was purchased from the County Council for £10,000 but by this time the success of WADE had brought problems, as the accommodation was proving to be insufficient. Dining space for only 30 people meant 3 sittings each day. An appeal was launched for £100,000 and the new extended dining room was opened in 1984 by Mr Lewis Moss, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

Over time, WADE has changed significantly, to cope with the changing needs of the members. It is a sad fact that isolation is becoming a big problem among the elderly as it can result in depression and related illnesses. In these times many people are living well into their 90s, some with mobility issues or cognitive challenges. WADE provides a safe, caring and stimulating environment where members can come and meet old friends, make new ones, and have a good, nourishing midday meal, freshly cooked by our kitchen staff. WADE is also aware that there are many elderly people caring at home for an equally elderly partner, and are pleased to be able to offer them respite so they can leave their loved one for the day, knowing that they will be safe and well cared for.

There is an excellent team of trained carers who, as well as looking after the varied daily needs of the members, arrange numerous activities such as seated exercises, flower arranging, quizzes and bingo. There is also entertainment, especially musical, which is very popular.

There are two minibuses (purchased through very generous legacies) which do a door-to-door service for people who cannot make their own way to the Centre. There is a weekly hairdressing service and a podiatrist comes fortnightly.

The Day Centre is housed in a wonderful building with a picturesque garden where members can sit and chat to their friends in the summer months and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. The building is lovely, but being Grade II listed it is very expensive to maintain so fundraising is an important activity for the Trustees to help meet our needs. The premises are available for hire during the evenings and weekends to provide an additional income stream. In the summer the garden is very popular with local organisations for barbecues and fêtes. The charity shop in Rose Street provides a significant additional source of income and donations for the shop are always very welcome.

WADE has many loyal volunteers who help at the shop and the centre, and at fundraising events. New volunteers are always very welcome as are donations of any size, to help keep this very special Centre going. The need for WADE is greater today than it has ever been.