Felixstowe day care centre under threat

FEARS were voiced today that a popular day centre for the elderly may be forced to close because of cut backs to social services budgets.All staff and users of the Queens Road Day Centre in Felixstowe have been sent letters saying the future of the service is under review.

FEARS were voiced today that a popular day centre for the elderly may be forced to close because of cut backs to social services budgets.

All staff and users of the Queens Road Day Centre in Felixstowe have been sent letters saying the future of the service is under review.

No decisions will be made until the end of November and they have been assured there will be consultation and their views considered.

But with the council being forced to save money in all departments, there are serious concerns it could be preparing to sell off the £1 million-plus property, which is also home to the Felixstowe area social services staff.

Pamela Gray, of High Street Felixstowe, whose late mother was a regular user of the centre, said the centre is used by many people with severe dementia and other disabilities.

She said: “Queens Road Day Centre is a lifeline for both carers and the cared for, where they are treated with compassion, consideration and, dare I say it, love.

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“The staff are second to none, nothing is ever too much trouble, organising games, entertainment and so on. Birthdays are always remembered and celebrated, and all are made to feel special. They also have a cooked meal and, if wanted, help with bathing and hair.

“Many people attending the centre live on their own and they all look forward to a day's break and pampering and most important of all mixing with others for a chat.”

Director for adult and community services, Graham Gatehouse said councillors would consider a report on September 5 and would be asked to agree consultation.

In a letter, Mr Gatehouse said: “The final decision will be made by councillors on November 28 and their decision will take into account what they hear from you, relatives and staff.

“You can be sure that there would be no change to your individual care arrangements without a full discussion with you.”

WEBLINK: www.suffolk.gov.uk

Do you use the day centre - what do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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