Horsham charity marks life and legacy of County Times ‘Iron Lady’

Suzanne Green Day Centre (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150906-094019008
Suzanne Green Day Centre (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150906-094019008

Age UK Horsham District paid tribute to a former owner of the County Times this week as the charity celebrated her contribution to services for elderly people.

Suzanne Green - or the ‘Iron Lady’, as she was known to editors - was the third generation of women to own the County Times since 1894. When she died in 1987, she left £1million in trust to be distributed to the frail and elderly in the Horsham district.

The newspaper’s directors of the day later established the Suzanne Green Charitable Trust and money was given to causes supporting Mrs Green’s wishes.

On Monday (June 8) an open day was held at Horsham’s Suzanne Green Day Centre, now run by Age UK.

Former trustee Peter Lusher said: “(The funds) have been used to help individuals in need, paid for minibuses for Age Concern (the former name for Age UK) for the purpose of assisting people with mobility problems with getting their weekly shopping.

“It also subsidised transport in the county, such as Dial-a-Ride and provided social activities. And most importantly, it established the Suzanne Green Day Centre for the frail and elderly.

“Originally that operated here on two days a week and was funded by an annual grant of £35,000 each year for 15 years.

“A huge amount of money was invested in providing and making sure the day centre could operate.”

The centre in Challen Court, Hamilton Road, is popular with residents of Challen Court as well as visitors wanting advice, company and support about dementia.

Age UK Horsham District dementia clubs manager said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event, which marks what would have been Suzanne Green’s 104th birthday to celebrate her remarkable legacy and to give the opportunity for people to learn more about her life and lasting impact of her trust.

“Without the Suzanne Green Charitable Trust we would have been unable to develop our wonderful clubs in Horsham district, which support those who are frail, elderly and living with dementia.”

The trust was wound up in 2013 and the funds left - about £100,000 - was donated to Age UK Horsham District.

Chief executive of Age UK Horsham district Janice Leeming said: “We are keeping with the funds wishes. The centre opens four days a week and also running dementia clubs across the district - in Steyning, Henfield and we have one opening in Slinfold and two further ones.”