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day care centre charges, profits?

carpe diem

Registered User
Nov 16, 2011
The local Age UK day centre charges £5.50 for a lunch which costs less than £2.50 to make. The profits are donated to the charity funds not put back into the day centre. They spend practically nothing on activities or prizes. They charge 30p for a game of bingo, winner taking the pot. As I understand the expenses are all paid by the LA or self funding so Age UK is making a profit from those people it is there to help.

Other activites I have seen are painting from a childs colouring book. A game which asks questions like "what day is it today?" (the golden rule of not to ask questions is none existent). Music and skittles.
Not all the users have dementia about 50%. Most of those who are able just play the bingo, chat and knit.
The staff say it's difficult to motivate the users to do activites.

The centre has no spray cleaner of any sort for cleaning in the kitchen, no dish cloth and a scouring pad which is really old and caked with old fat residue. Just some very cheap washing up liquid. The washing up water is often really dirty and the draining board and drawer for the knives and forks are really grimey.
The knives and forks are laid out on the same table used for all the activities hours before lunch.

The users do seem to have a nice time and enjoy themselves.
Having said this I do not want to put anyone off going to a day centre as I have also been to another Age UK centre which was totally different, clean with lots of activies and outings.

My question is should I speak to the management or keep quiet?
None of my realtives use this centre, I'm just a voluteer there.


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
I think if it is troubling you then make a list and point out your concerns. The worst they can do is ask you not to come back. The best is that they will improve their services.

Lilac Blossom

Registered User
Oct 6, 2014
What is your role as a volunteer? How about mentioning your concerns to supervisor - would you be willing offer to clean up a bit? If not, who is supposed to do it? Another volunteer or an employee?

I couldn't work as a volunteer without saying anything if hygiene standards are as poor as you describe - I would have try to get things improved, or else go and volunteer elsewhere.

Singing Friend

Registered User
Nov 5, 2014
I used to run a day centre (until the LA withdrew funding and our reserves ran out and I was made redundant). It wasn't AgeUK though and I know nothing about how these are funded or managed.

As far as the cost of meals is concerned, if the actual food costs around £2.50 a time, there will certainly be other costs on top of this - rent for the premises, heat, light, gas for cooking, staff costs if anyone is paid, costs of cleaning materials and kitchen equipment, etc, etc. I very much doubt that LA funding will cover everything, but it should be possible to see the accounts if you want to check.

In answer to your question, yes, go and raise your concerns with whoever is in charge. As an ex day centre manager I would ask you not to go in all guns blazing, but to discuss your concerns and explore what the issues are, and maybe even see if you can become part of the solution!

If after that you get nowhere then I'd go and find somewhere else to volunteer!


Registered User
May 21, 2014
Our day centre which is funded by the LA, only charges £3 for a daily meal, the rest of the costs are paid by the LA. But that isn't really the issue, is it? You don't like the fact that hygiene is poor and activities not plentiful. Say something or not, but I would either try to make it better or move on to a different day centre.


Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
By all means raise the issues with them. Then I imagine based on my own experience of raising concerns where I worked many years ago that you may well have to leave as life can be made pretty unpleasant even if you are right. It rather depends on who you work with.
If you don't raise the issues then you will never feel at ease working there.
You are between a rock and a hard place, I would tell them what you think about the hygiene but be prepared for life not to be easy afterwards. Forget the money side of it.


Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
North East
Can you try and change things from the inside?

Be an inspiration to others. Take some descent washing up liquid and cleaner in and a packet of cloths and get cleaning. Hopefully others will join you. Bring in some games (buy them from a charity shop maybe or local fares?) and start playing, others may join you.

Thank you for volunteering, it is such an important job you are doing.