Closure fears for ‘crucial’ Ipswich day centre as Age UK Suffolk services come under review

Foxhall Day Centre in Ipswich

Foxhall Day Centre in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The closure of a “crucial” day care service would be a “real loss” to an Ipswich community, a councillor has said.

There are fears the service could close

There are fears the service could close - Credit: PA

Sandy Martin, who represents the St John’s ward, has made the comments as relatives of clients using the Foxhall Day Centre in Parliament Road grow concerned it could shut its doors.

The future of the centre, which caters for up to 28 people including some living with dementia, hangs in the balance – it is one being looked at as part of an ongoing consultation into Age UK Suffolk services.

Back in November bosses announced the charity, which helps around 20,000 people across the county, were having to axe a number of jobs and services due to worsening financial pressures.

Helen Taylor, the charity’s chief executive officer, said she is unable to confirm any decisions made about the day centre until the consultation finishes on February 27.

Mr Martin said: “The Foxhall day care centre is a crucial service and caters for people that are in transition.

“Many of the people using it are between living at home and going into residential care.

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“It also provides hot food to people living at Carlford Court next door as it has a big kitchen.

“If you were going to close any Age UK service in Suffolk the day centre is the last one you would want to close.

He added: “It would be a real loss.”

When cuts were announced in November Age UK Suffolk’s chair of trustees Julia Holloway said the charity’s ability to provide current services would be reviewed.

She admitted some could close, but support will be offered to affected clients and alternative options will be sought for them.

Ms Taylor said: “Currently we are in consultation with staff members based at our Foxhall day service in Ipswich.

“Until the consultation finishes on February 27 we are unable to confirm any decisions about the future of the day service.

“Our staff based there are continuing to work hard to deliver an excellent service to clients.

She added: “If the decision is taken by Suffolk Age UK that we cannot continue to subsidise the service, it does not mean it will close as it could continue in an alternative form.”

Do you have a friend or relative who uses the Foxhall day centre? Share your thoughts with us by emailing newsroom@archant.co.uk