Angry senior citizens lose cafe

FURIOUS staff and residents at an old people's home are demanding their local supermarket reconsider plans to close its café.Oakwood House nursing home, in Stollery Close, Kesgrave provides residential care for 24 elderly people with both physical and mental health problems.

FURIOUS staff and residents at an old people's home are demanding their local supermarket reconsider plans to close its café.

Oakwood House nursing home, in Stollery Close, Kesgrave provides residential care for 24 elderly people with both physical and mental health problems.

They regularly take their residents to the nearby Tesco café in Rupert Fison Square as a way of allowing them to continue to be part of the local community.

But, as the Evening Star reported last month, the store plans to close the café in the New Year to increase the amount of space in the shop.

Home manager Helen Rollins said: "It's a special treat for our residents to be able to go out and have a look round the shop and then enjoy a cup of tea and a cake.

"It's an important part of our normalisation process. Our residents have some quite severe mental health needs – we can't just hop on a bus and take them anywhere.

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"Surely there are other ways to find the space. A big company like Tesco should be adding to the community's facilities, not taking them away."

A spokeswoman for Tesco said the changes were designed to create more space in the entrance to the store and had been decided upon following consultation with shoppers.

She was unable to confirm exactly when the work would start or whether the toilets would also be closing.

Ursula Smith, 74, an Oakwood House resident, said: "I like going there to get a cup of tea. It will be a shame if it closes. We enjoy visiting it."

Betty Barber, 73, agreed: "I will be sad if it closes. I used to go there for coffee. What are they going to put in its place?"

nAre you a regular user of this café? Would you rather see more shopping space in its place? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an email to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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