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Age Exchange gearing up for £860,000 move
A CHARITY is gearing up for a move into a new £860,000 facility - but is reminding people that it is still open for business in the meantime.
Age Exchange opened in 1983 and has long been a mainstay in Blackheath Village, becoming the country's leading charity for reminiscence, providing a facility help people share their memories.
But while its home is being refurbished, the charity is currently based at the Old Bakehouse, tucked away out of sight just behind its main premises.
Chief executive Craig Muir said: "Once the new building opens in November there will be a fantastic facility in the village.
"It's will have double the amount of space that we've had before to include the reminiscence centre, a place for exhibitions, a new cafe and library."
The charity is run by 36 volunteers, from students to 88-year-old Eileen O'Sullivan who helps run the cafe.
Among its current responsibilities is the area's library - a facility it took over last year following Lewisham Council cuts.
The library has around 6,000 books and is still supported by the council, though figures for loans have dwindled since the move, something the charity says is only a stopgap before the new facility opens later this year.
Mr Muir said: "The library is doing well and the people who come here really like it but we've got to remember that it's a temporary space."
The reminiscence work is still going on, featuring, amongst other things, plays from a youth theatre group based on stories that people have shared.
He added: "The work we do is vital. We work with young and old people to bring them together, helping them learn about and understand each other more and perhaps increase their self-confidence."
To find out more visit age-exchange.org.uk