|Happy Birthday Mr Singh!|
Local resident celebrates his 100th birthday
The first day centre in the UK to tailor its services to older people in the Asian community celebrated its 35th anniversary, and one of their longest users Mr. Sammiter Singh has just celebrated his 100th birthday.
Over 150 people came to the event at the Southall Day Centre which was marked with an appearance from the Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Mohammad Aslam. Songs and poetry were specially prepared for the occasion by those that attend the centre.
The day centre opened in recognition of the change in traditional family patterns in the Asian community. As a growing number of older Asian people are unsupported by their families a space was required to help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
The centre provides regular activities such as bilingual bingo and yoga and also offers information about the welfare systems and what help is available.
Mr. Singh joined the 14th Punjab Regiment in 1933, in 1941 he was captured and became a prisoner of war until his release in 1945. After leaving the army he took up farming in the Utter Pradesh State in India. Mr. Singh moved to England in 1991 to be with his family.
He said: ''I come to the centre everyday to see my friends, without it I would see very few people. Up until six years ago I used to walk here from Ealing Broadway every day. But now that my health isn't what it used to be I get a lift through dial-a-ride. I would be lost without the centre and unable to see my friends. We share jokes and stories. It keeps me going.''
Rod Cahill, chief executive of Catalyst Housing:
“There really is nowhere quite like Southall Day Centre. For hundreds of people it is the beating heart of this community. Over the past three decades we have made life easier and better for some of the most vulnerable members across west London – offering friendship and practical help for those who need it most.”
27th March 2013