Mount Newton Centre Society recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and the community got an insight into an organization that often flies under the radar.
“Forty years ago a few very persistent and caring women saw a need and set about addressing it,” said board member Brenda Harfield, recounting Mount Newton’s beginnings.
Set up in the 1970s by Pat Paterson and Patsy Berger-North in a nearby farmhouse, the centre served patients discharged by the Saanich Peninsula Hospital.
These patients required home support and medical equipment that the stretched hospital couldn’t always provide.
Since then, thanks to regular fundraising, the Mount Newton Centre has now evolved into a place where a variety of equipment can be borrowed and vulnerable seniors can seek support.
Their work now complements the multitude of services the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation provide.
The “loan cupboard”, as the equipment store is still affectionately known, offers Peninsula residents three months use of an unlimited supply of equipment, by donation. This ranges from crutches and reclining chairs to electronic aids and a full hospital bed.
Centre staff say it is a far cry from their humble roots of stocking a pair of used wheelchairs and some creaky crutches.
The adult day program is an initiative by the non-profit society for frail seniors, which operates six days a week. In keeping with their focus on helping vulnerable patients, they are now procuring a state-of-the-art bathtub, which seniors can use by appointment if they are struggling to bathe at home.
The 40th-anniversary celebrations on June 9 saw much support from community businesses and a jovial atmosphere filled the proceedings. Peninsula Co-op presented the centre a cheque of $37,826.
To learn more about Mount Newton Centre Society’s activities or to donate visit mountnewtoncentre.org.