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Petition launched to keep day centre open ty

Linda and John Stevens who will be badly affected by the closure of the Orion Day Centre in Hailsham. February 1st 2014. E05020Q

Linda and John Stevens who will be badly affected by the closure of the Orion Day Centre in Hailsham. February 1st 2014. E05020Q

The community is being urged to sign a petition in a bid to stop a day care centre in Hailsham from closing.

Plans to close the Orion Centre in Vega Close were approved by East Sussex County Council’s (ESCC) cabinet towards the end of last year, leading to upset and outrage from the relatives of dementia sufferers who use the facility.

Polegate resident Linda Stevens, whose husband John has vascular dementia, said a friend set up the petition on her behalf.

Mrs Stevens said, “The staff at the centre go the extra mile.

“My husband doesn’t always remember my name but he knows on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday that he goes to the centre.”

She is hoping the petition may see the decision to close the centre overturned so that her husband and the many other users can continue to attend the facility.

The petition is calling for the facility to stay open and says at the very least the carers and dementia sufferers should be able to be kept together as a group.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said, “We are aware of this petition and we will consider any suggestions or comments which we receive relating to the future of service users and staff at the Orion Day Centre.

“The centre will not close until alternative provision from the voluntary or community sector is available to all its current users and a formal consultation with staff, which is due to begin shortly, is complete.

“We appreciate this is a difficult time for staff and for the people who use the centre but if there’s anything we can do to make the transition process easier for service users we will of course consider this.

“We did explore all options for the future of the Orion centre as part of our wider review of day centres, and the conclusion we reached was that closure was the only feasible option.

“We face cuts of £27 million from our adult social care budget over the next three years and we have no choice but to make changes to ensure we have a system that is sustainable for the future, but ensures people continue to receive the care they need.”

The petition can be foundby visiting the website: www.change.org

 

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