DCSIMG

Petition over centre gains momentum

Linda and John Stevens who will be badly affected by the closure of the Orion Day Centre in Hailsham. February 1st 2014. E05022Q

Linda and John Stevens who will be badly affected by the closure of the Orion Day Centre in Hailsham. February 1st 2014. E05022Q

A petition calling on a day care centre in Hailsham to remain open has been backed by more than one hundred people.

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

So far 112 people from around the country have backed it with many saying how important the centre was for relatives. Sue Taylor from Edenbridge wrote, ‘My dad attends the Orion Day Centre three times a week. He had a stroke 10 years ago which changed his life over night. The centre gives him a few days a week to meet his friends and keeps his brain active. He looks forward to his time there and it would be a devastating blow if it were to close’.

An ESCC spokesman said last week that it was aware of the petition and would consider any suggestions or comments its receives relating to the future of service users and staff at the centre, adding, “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.”

The petition can be found via the website: www.change.org

 

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