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Balfour centre celebrates 40 years of caring: pictures attached

Date: 17/07/2008           Category: Social Care

People who use the Balfour Centre in Rochester blew out the birthday cake and candles this week to celebrate the centre's ruby anniversary. On Tuesday (15 July), staff and service users at the care and respite centre in Pattens Lane, wore scarlet clothing and ate birthday cake and party food during the two-hour bash. There was also a big red quiz, with all the answers having either a red, ruby or scarlet theme. The winning team was presented with a certificate, while the losers were given a wooden spoon. The centre’s longest-serving users, Billy Gibson and Carol Cole, were crowned ruby king and queen and wore red party hats throughout the day. They were also presented with a pen and pencil set and bouquet. Guests could also learn about the centre’s 40-year heritage on the wall of fame that included old photographs and newspaper cuttings. Day centre officer Norma Palmer has worked at the Balfour Centre for 31 years and said the party was great fun. She said: "I have seen a lot of changes in the past 31 years. It first opened as a sheltered workshop and was one of the first in Kent to offer work opportunities for people with disabilities. "This party provides an opportunity for people to get together and celebrate the centre's success." The Balfour Centre provides a day care service for adults between 18 and 65 who are disabled. It gives people the chance to discover new interests and activities, which can be tailored to meet individual needs, and the opportunity to make new friends. It also acts as respite care, giving carers and families a break.