It’s 10am and people are slowly arriving at the Saxon Day Centre, located minutes from a busy Orpington High Street.

The clients, mostly there because they have dementia, all get a personal greeting from a student from Bromley College who is on work experience.

"Morning, how are you today?" the student asks a lady being walked inside.

"I’m on top of the world," the beaming woman replies. "I have my own personal escort," she laughs as she is led into the main concourse.

While waiting for more to arrive, the student tells News Shopper she is two months into her placement, and that she loves the "upbeat spirit" of the place.

The centre, or club, as management prefer, is operated by the charity Age Concern Orpington & District.

Up to 60 clients, from former scientists to champion sportsmen, go to the Saxon Day Centre on weekdays.

By 11am the guests, many of who have become friends, are chatting happily and their driver now begins her admin duties.

Angela Hunt drives clients to the centre in the mornings before doing office work.

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"I've never worked in a place that has such a lovely team spirit," Angela, who has worked there for three months, tells News Shopper.

"Maxine and her carers are absolutely amazing with clients."

She says she was nervous on her first day having not experienced being around people with dementia, but she’s been thriving ever since.

"Each and every one of our clients are amazing characters," she says. "One is a British champion ballroom dancer and commonwealth champion diver.

"They all have amazing life stories that they enjoy telling us."

Maxine O’Dwyer, who has managed here for 18 months, says "loneliness doesn’t discriminate" and that the centre improves quality of life.

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"It’s a lovely environment to work in," she says while chatting to clients who are sipping their hot drinks.

While meeting people we are introduced to a woman who is dropping off her mother.

"This place is a life saver for my mum," she tells News Shopper.

Maxine says the centre crucially gives carers a respite while their loved ones are being looked after.

"Even if it’s to sit down, have a cup of tea and watch the television, it means a lot," she says.

Dennis Moore comes over to introduce himself, and we quickly learn that he came to the Saxon Day Centre 27 years ago and has been a helper, driver, secretary before eventually becoming chairman.

"I was only planning on staying two years," he laughs as we spoke in the 'memory lane' room.

"Our staff are absolutely mega," Dennis adds. "We have been short staffed for a while, but they still turn up trumps.

"We all have the same two objectives in mind, to make it a great day for every one and to survive."

The team is made up of carers, volunteers, hairdressers and entertainers who make the lives of clients as stimulating, fun or relaxing as they want.

Age Concern Orpington is reliant on donations and more volunteers are "desperately" needed to sustain it.

Chairman Dennis says being rent free would be a "life saver" but at the moment thousands of pounds a year go to Bromley Council.

READ: Orpington man striving to achieve the extraordinary for his ill dad

After speaking to Dennis and Maxine, News Shopper bump into John Li, who offers his support whenever he can.

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"I’ve found it really enjoyable," John, who has volunteered here for nine months, says. "It’s nice to know you are doing something to help a worthy cause.

"They are always short of volunteers so it’s good to know you are making a difference to people’s lives."

He adds: "The people always need someone to chat to so it’s nice to be there for them."

While leaving, one of the workers mentions the stabbing reported in the News Shopper the previous evening.

READ: Teenager stabbed in broad daylight after fight in Orpington

"It doesn’t happen a lot around here thankfully," she says.

"In Orpington there really is a close -knit connection between people."