‘It is a tragedy that it might end’ - Urgent community appeal to save day care centre

Jo Clark and Jo Riley, who have said they're are devastated The Swallows Day Care Centre will close.

Jo Clark and Jo Riley, who have said they're are devastated The Swallows Day Care Centre will close. Picture: Jo Clark - Credit: Archant

Concerned relatives are calling for community help to take on a specialist day centre which is closing.

The Swallows Day Care Centre on Station Road, Salhouse, which looks after people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health problems, will close on July 31.

It has been run by Adult Day Care Ltd for the past 13 years but cannot continue because of a decline in the number of clients, a fall in referrals and rising costs - meaning the centre is losing £3,000 a month.

An online 38 Degrees petition to save the centre, set up by Su Allport whose elderly father uses the service, has attracted 343 signatures.

Miss Allport, 55, from Postwick, said: "We are trying to keep it going so we are looking for charities or a large donation from someone to take it on as a business."

She described the place as "home from home".

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"It is a tragedy that it might end," Miss Allport added.

Ann Brownlee, 78, from Oaks Lane in Postwick, is also worried about the closure.

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Her 85-year-old husband, who has Parkinson's disease and a stoma because of urinary problems, has been going to The Swallows once a week for a year.

She said: "My husband has various medical problems and the staff have always been very good at accommodating him. He is upset about the closure. I don't know what we will do. It would be nice if somebody could take it over."

Currently Mrs Brownlee's husband and Ms Allport's father have nowhere else to go after the day centre closes.

Jo Clark, care manager at The Swallows, said: "We are not getting enough referrals. The clients are devastated. There is nowhere else that can meet these people's needs. We have built a good reputation."

She had "expected a bit more input" from Norfolk County Council social services in terms of finding new day centres for her clients.

Nicholas Pledger, owner and director of Adult Day Care Ltd, said: "We will be closing on July 31 which is a shame. But there is not the income yo justify it. I'll be very happy if it was kept going."

A county council spokesman said: "Norfolk County Council has been working with The Swallows to ensure all attendees have alternative provision."

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