A DAY centre that caters for adults with learning difficulties and disabilites is at risk of closure, leaving worried parents fearing they will lose two vital services that they rely on.
The Chappell Centre, off Pinchbeck Road, is on the list of day services that Lincolnshire County Council is considering no longer running – along with Bourne Day Centre and another in Kirton.
The news is doubly worrying for some Chappell Centre users because the council is also considering the future of Cedar House - a respite care home on the same site.
Lynda Thorpe’s 33-year-old son Andrew is one of the people who uses both facilities. He suffers from severe learning difficulties and Lynda says the day centre offers him a chance to get out of the house.
She said: “My son’s been going since he was 16. He’s got to have this service. If he was here at home all day all he would do is sit and watch the television – he’s got to have somewhere to go.
“He can’t do anything for himself except eat and he needs help.”
Lynda says that in a typical week Andrew enjoys arts and crafts, lessons in sign language Makaton, playing musical instruments and gaming on the Nintendo Wii console, as well as socialising with the other regulars.
The council is reviewing the way it funds adult social care, by rolling out “personal budgets” which will see people given the cash to fund their own care.
Mrs Thorpe criticised the policy, and worries where she will be able to find the care her son needs.
She said: “They want me to buy my own care but where do I do that? I did hear a while ago a suggestion that my son could get respite care at an old people’s home. Well, I’m sorry but I am not putting him in an old people’s home – he’s 33.”
A letter sent out by Richard Collins, head of adult commissioning at the council, promises that the users will still have access services they need if the council cuts the services it directly provides.
Mrs Thorpe and fellow parents want a meeting with Mr Collins to quiz him on the proposals.
A council spokesman said: “The consultation will decide what happens to the Chappell Centre. We are not ruling anything out.”
The consultation runs until Monday, January 9. Visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/dpsconsultation or call 01522 782156 to take part.