A NORTH Devon home that provides respite care for adults with learning difficulties has announced it is to close at the start of next year.
Berry House will close its doors for the final time on January 31 after suffering years of heavy financial losses. Project secretary Jane Batchelor said the home was no longer financially viable after changes to the allocation of respite care.
She said: "The main thing is that in the past people were given an allocation as to where they could get respite from, which meant that we would get a set number of people coming to stay.
"Now people are being given more of a choice. People are given a pot of money to use for respite. They are choosing other means of care like paying for someone to come in once a week."
Jane said the charity's organisers had known for several years the home would have to close.
She said: "None of this is a surprise to us.
"We have known really for the past five or six years. We have been making a loss for that period of time.
"We knew that if the losses were maintained that there was no way we could keep going.
"About four years ago we sold the property and leased it out so that all that money could be ploughed back into the service, which is the only reason it has survived this long."
Although all five members of staff will be made redundant, Jane said her main concern was for the users of the service.
She said: "Our main concern is to make sure that their transition is made as easy as possible. They like to know exactly what is going to happen and have a routine, so the change is going to be difficult."