The Westway Centre – Integral support during the Crisis

October 1st 2019 saw ‘The Douglas Brunton Centre’ finally become ‘The Westway Community Cafe and Wellbeing Centre’ thanks to local residents who together worked to prevent it’s closure. It provides an array of activities, events, facilities and wellbeing services such as hair styling, podiatry, group exercise and art classes (within a safe and welcoming environment) to Caterham residents aged 55 and over and has proved to be an essential hub during lockdown. It also provides transport for residents of Caterham and the surrounding areas who need assistance with mobility via the Dial-a-Ride service. For some it has also become integral in helping with social isolation, loneliness and helping with both mental wellbeing and physical health.
The Four Parishes Hub assists the community in the Four Parishes of Caterham on the Hill, Caterham Valley, Chaldon and Whyteleafe and has aided the Covid-19 outbreak with the introduction of cookery and IT skills through to telephony, working closely with Tandridge Council in supplying and passing on information and directing people to links or contacts for problems or enquiries.
The centre are incredibly proud of its volunteers who through the lockdown have helped immensely by regularly contacting those who are isolating. Many local residents have needed a friendly voice to comfort any worries or issues they may have about the crisis. Volunteers have also helped those not able to leave their homes to obtain essential supplies such as prescriptions, medical supplies and shopping which often includes specialist dietary items. Some residents have had to cope with bereavement, deterioration of mental capacity and of course the closure of social clubs and societies which were previously fundamental to their daily schedule and routine. The voice at the end of a telephone talking to them has helped them cope with the immense change which the lockdown has created within their lives.
The volunteer team has to date, raised £11,000 which supports community transport for the delivery of shopping, prescriptions and visits to the GP. It also supports the provision of telephone support to people with concerns or who are feeling lonely and vulnerable and gives professional help and training to volunteers with the handling of referrals from Tandridge District Council.
There have also been fundraising activities which have included Catherine Babbage, Caterham on the Hill who donated £1000 to the Hub from creating novel and beautiful rainbows (please see photo).
Moving forward Jeremy Webster (Chair Westway Trustees and Caterham Hill Parish Council), explained that “Present circumstances have provided new evidence about the services, information and skills vulnerable people locally might increasingly need and the question is how best to provide them”.
A hardship fund has been established to provide grants to individuals who are in current need of support financially due to a direct impact on their lives from coronavirus. In order to apply for the fund residents please contact; The Westway on 01883 347230 or via email at

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