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'It's a life line' Staff and families left devastated by closure of adult day care centre

PUBLISHED: 16:05 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 08 July 2019

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

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

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An adult day care centre which "provides a lifeline" to people in need of social stimulation is being forced to close because it can no longer cover its costs.

For more than 13 years, The Swallows Day Care Centre in Salhouse has provided care to people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health problems, giving them support without having to move into a care home.

But a decline in the number of service users, a fall in referrals and rising costs - meaning the centre is losing £3,000 a month - will see it close on July 31.

The company behind the centre said despite best efforts it was just "not possible" to keep it open.

Jo Clark, care manager at The Swallows, said the staff were "devastated" when the decision was made and said: "We knew there was a decline in numbers coming through the door but we hoped that previous good times would have seen us through the bad times.

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"We are all devastated but there's not a lot we can do about it. Some of our clients have been here for 10 years which is a big thing... We are trying to do the best for them, the clients know that we are trying."

Jo Riley, a support worker, echoed Ms Clark's sadness at the centre's closure. She said: "I'm really sad, we're just like one big happy family, we just get on so well, the clients just love it because it's like a home from home... I think it's so important that we keep people with their families as long a possible."

She said the staff had taken the news as hard as the clients and their families.

"I just can't get my head around it, it's just such a shame that this won't be here anymore," she said.

Su Allport, whose father has been using The Swallows for almost a year, said: "The Swallows provides a lifeline of respite and support.

"Closure for us will be devastating. We have been through so much since my dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia and we had just started getting back to some sort of normality and having dad attend The Swallows Day Centre has been very much part of that."

Nicholas Pledger, owner and director of Adult Day Care Ltd, which runs The Swallows, said he had hoped to keep the centre open but it was "just not possible". He said: "I'm very sorry it was necessary [to close the centre] but we couldn't see any other way."

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