Foster parent Jenny getting something back at Banbury community centre

Jenny Timms with Banbury Community Support Service manager Martin Hole
Jenny Timms with Banbury Community Support Service manager Martin Hole

Great-grandmother Jenny Timms looked after more than 200 children during her years as a foster carer.

Now it is the turn of Oxfordshire County Council to help her as the 77-year-old from Bretch Hill enjoys twice-weekly visits to Banbury Community Support Service.

In October last year, Banbury opened as one of eight daytime support facilities in Oxfordshire for people who have social care needs, the elderly and those with learning difficulties.

When it was announced the service would be integrating people with different social needs, Jenny admitted she was a little nervous.

“In fairness to the county council they did send an officer to speak to us and that’s when I chose the Banbury Community Support Service,” she said.

“I really enjoy coming here. I really admire the staff. They are only as good as their manager and in Martin (Hole) they have someone who leads by example. It doesn’t matter what needs doing, he just gets on with it. The other day I saw him fixing a drawer in the kitchen.”

Jenny provided a valuable refuge to hundreds of foster children before her life was turned upside down in 2003.

She went to hospital for a gallbladder operation but suffered a stroke which left her wheelchair-bound.

As she came to terms with her new predicament, Jenny enjoyed attending Banbury Day Centre in Britannia Road and later a day centre at Stanbridge House.

Reflecting on the first year of the Banbury Community Support Service, Jenny admitted it had far exceeded her expectations.

Jenny, who is looked after by her husband Don, enjoys joining in with zumba, spending time in the Smile sensory room and singing songs as part of a game called Boom.

Banbury Community Support Service, on Neithrop Avenue, has 64 users on its books and about 34 attend each day.

Claire Pritchett, from the county council, said: “We are particularly focused on creating deeper links within community and voluntary groups to provide greater opportunities for Banbury.”