Carer will be ‘heartbroken’ when day care centre in Brandon closes

Doreen Walker and her husband Don are heartbroken over the impending closure of the Brandon Day Care

Doreen Walker and her husband Don are heartbroken over the impending closure of the Brandon Day Care Centre. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

An elderly carer has expressed her heartbreak at the impending loss of a day care centre in her hometown which has helped her disabled husband.

Donald Walker, from Brandon, suffered a stroke last May and lost the use of his right arm and leg.

Since then the 86-year-old has been using facilities, including accessible baths, at the Brandon Day Care Centre twice a week, providing help for him and respite for his wife and carer Doreen.

However, with the recent announcement from the centre's owner Orbit Housing that it will be closing at the end of this month, Mrs Walker, 78, is concerned about the impact it will have on them.

She said: 'It is a life line, not only to the people who go but to people like me. My husband going to the day care centre gives me a break, otherwise I would have no time to call my own because I have to look after him 24 hours a day.

'I managed to go to Great Yarmouth with a friend last week – it was the first time I have had a holiday of any kind in 18 months and if the centre closes I do not know when the next chance like that is going to be.

'I am going to be heartbroken when it closes. It is going to be a very bad loss.'

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Mrs Walker, who lives with her husband in St Anthony's Way in Brandon, praised the care at the centre and the opportunities for socialising it gives to its elderly users.

A petition has been started to keep it open and has support from the Brandon Daycare Appeal charity shop in High Street, which runs a bus service to the centre.

Mrs Walker added: 'Orbit never told us, they never gave us a chance to see if we could do something.'

Angela Rankin, head of independent living at Orbit East, said the decision to close the centre was 'not made lightly'.

'We are sorry for any disruption that closing the centre may cause. We looked at different options such as extending the range of services, but we couldn't find a way to make it financially viable.

'We appreciate the effect our decision will have on some of our customers and have already signposted them to other agencies (both statutory and voluntary). We will continue to support them through this change and encourage anyone who has any queries to contact us directly.'

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