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Campaign to secure Wicklewood mental health unit’s long-term future is relaunched

PUBLISHED: 08:14 17 September 2015 | UPDATED: 15:38 17 September 2015

Ashcroft Centre in Wicklewood
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Ashcroft Centre in Wicklewood Picture by: Sonya Duncan

A campaign to secure the long-term future of a women’s mental health unit, which last year battled closure, has been relaunched.

Ashcroft residential home in Wicklewood, near Wymondham, faced closure in November last year after the Julian Support charity, which runs it, said funding cuts left it unfeasible.

Former users and the community rallied to save it, with more than 3,300 people signing an online petition and dozens attending a busy public meeting.

Crisis talks saw Norfolk County Council agree to fund seven beds up to March 2018, while Julian Support secured one and Clinical Commissioning Groups - who are responsible for health care in the area - (CCGs) saved four beds until March next year.

Now, uncertainty over whether the CCGs will supply the four beds for another year means the Save Ashcroft campaign group has organised a second public meeting to bring the centre’s long-term future back into the public eye.

Amanda Graham-Leigh, a member of Save Ashcroft, said: “Any decision that affects the way beds at Ashcroft are commissioned will have consequences for the service as a whole, and there are likely to be changes in what services could be delivered and how they could be delivered if new contracts are not agreed for 2016/17.

“At this stage we don’t know what the CCGs will do and we can’t second-guess any decision they may make, so it would be wrong of us to cause unnecessary alarm or panic now, however we are obviously very concerned about what the future holds for Ashcroft – for its services, for the staff and for those who use and value Ashcroft.”

The meeting - which Dr Ian Gibson will chair - will be held at the Vauxhall Community Hub, on Vauxhall Street, in Norwich from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Tuesday, October 13.

Author and Guardian columnist Clare Allan will be guest speaker.

An earlier event for service users, carers and supporters will be held on Saturday, September 26 from 12pm to 3pm at the Belvedere Centre on Belvoir Street, in Norwich. Registration is required - email saveashcroft@gmail.com

If you would like to get involved with the campaign, email saveashcroft@gmail.com

What do you think of the Save Ashcroft campaign? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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