All smiles for now – but fight for future of centre goes on

ALL SMILES: Anniversary party but the campaign to save the threatened centre goes on. SG310113-118TW
ALL SMILES: Anniversary party but the campaign to save the threatened centre goes on. SG310113-118TW

Bittersweet celebrations were held to mark the 30th anniversary of Spalding’s Chappell Centre by families who are battling to keep adult day care services on the site.

The centre, in Pinchbeck Road, is one of 30 across the county destined to be ditched into private hands by cash-strapped Lincolnshire County Council.

Vulnerable adults with wide-ranging disabilities, parents, carers and staff threw a big party to mark the centre’s birthday a couple of months after the actual anniversary in November.

Among them was Maurice Chappell, whose late father opened the building.

Mr Chappell, whose daughter attends the centre, said: “It was just nice to celebrate it. Obviously the centre users just enjoyed the party but some of the parents are still very anxious.

“We have got the centre guaranteed until April 2014. We just hope something happens in the meantime.”

Mr Chappell is determined to make the county council stick to its promise that the Chappell Centre will not close until something as good or better is in its place.

“We shall remind the county council that we are not going away,” he said.

Parents Michael and Sheila Lee, who have a son at the centre, are also active campaigners.

Mrs Lee said: “Our son asks us every single day if he can stay at the Chappell Centre and if it will always be there.

“We are all worried sick.

“What would happen to people like our son if that place wasn’t there or if somebody took it over?”

She said the campaign continues to keep services open.