AN ORGANISATION in York that provides a community space for older people has reopened - and is looking to diversify after struggling in the pandemic.

The St Sampson’s Centre For Over 60s, located in St Sampson's Church, Church Street, is now open again after lockdown.

Owner Richard Whittaker said that because 90 per cent of the staff are in the vulnerable category, it has been difficult for the site to reopen.

However, it is now back running from 10am until 3pm Monday to Friday and will be providing hot drinks, sandwiches and an opportunity for residents to meet up with friends in a safe space.

Richard added that the community organisation has diversified and will now be hosting weddings, music events, open days and game nights.

He added: “We are delighted to say that we are ready to open again.

“We’ve worked hard to make the centre Covid-secure and have a number of social distancing measures in place.

“At peak times we will ask customers to limit their time in the centre to two hours as may be necessary.

“We are still around two-thirds down on revenue compared to last year but if we can get our old customers in and hopefully help new people who have been feeling lonely. It is also a safe place for older people who are concerned about visiting busier venues due to the ongoing pandemic.

“This is a great place to meet new people and make friends in a difficult time.”

Richard added that right now the centre has restarted bingo on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm.

Other activities will also be reintroduced gradually.

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