New day care centre set to open in former Methodist church
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A "huge void" in adult social care in Halesworth is set to be addressed as plans to convert a disused church into a day care centre are unveiled.
Friends of Halesworth Community Health & Care (FHCHC) has outlined its proposals to convert the use of the Methodist church in London Road and create an extension to the rear.
The day care centre that would be created in the church would primarily cater for elderly residents.
The church dates back to 1877 and, at its peak, had a capacity of 170 worshippers.
FHCHC said the closure of the Rayner Green Resource Centre in June 2018 has resulted in a lack of support services for adults in the area.
In planning documents submitted to East Suffolk Council, the charity said the converted church could accommodate up to 15 service users every day from Monday to Friday.
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Users would be dropped off by car or minibus and would stay throughout the day.
FHCHC has completed the purchase of the building and is now seeking the go-ahead to formally change its use.
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The documents added: "Our vision is to adapt and transform the building into a warm, welcoming and appropriate environment for people with social care needs, including those living with dementia, fulfilling the huge void locally, left by the closure of the Rayner Green Resource Centre.
"We have spoken to the residents of the three neighbouring properties, explaining our plans and they are all fully supportive of the project."
Karen Kerridge, of FHCHC, described the plans as "really exciting" and said the centre's facilities would also be available to use by the community.
She said: "We've had to think about how we can support health and social care in Halesworth. We want to create a social space for a day care centre.
"We thought the church would make a brilliant building.
"The plan is we are going to find a provider for when we are done. It will be available for use by the community - it's all really exciting.
"It was such a blow when we lost Rayner Green. At the moment, there is nowhere else in Halesworth that provides this sort of service."