SO, we are now in a position that South Molton's residents face the closure of Beech House Day Centre as part of Devon County Council's cuts.
Their argument basically being that it is only running at 50% occupancy and therefore is too expensive, per head, to run. It is said that the referrals have dropped over recent times. I would argue that there seems to have been a deliberate attempt at not getting eligible people in to such centres, based upon the experience I had in trying to get my mother to attend there last year.
The amount of phone calls and chasing up I had to do – I am sure others may have given up.
Devon County Council says that it will work with local providers to ensure alternative services are provided locally.
Yes, there are local alternatives for some aspects, the memory cafe being very helpful as a complement to day care services, but it does not replace it.
Beech House provides a whole range of support and my mum's day there provides memory stimulation, social interaction and appropriate activities and games, which help her tremendously. She has a lunch with other people, rather than eating alone, with just her window to look out from. I am very anxious that this does not stop. It also gives me and my partner one day a week where we know she is in good hands.
The staff too at Beech House are wonderful. All are experienced in supporting mum with her difficulties, and it must be a real kick in the teeth for them for such an excellent day centre to face closure.
This review of day care services appears to be purely financially driven and the consultation period for objections is until March 19, 2014.
So please, residents of South Molton, do have your say before it is too late, otherwise Beech House will close.
The link to the consultation document is http://new. devon.gov.uk/dayservices or via post or email to Devon County Council. The decision made, if it has not been already made, will have a terrible effect on the town and, after all, "there, but for the grace of God go I". We may ourselves need such a day centre in years to come.
It is vital that as many people as possible have a say.