New warning over centre for disabled

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a centre for disabled people have warned a cash-strapped council that its closure would be “devastating”.Concerned family members have called for assurances over the future of the Sudbury Resource Centre.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a centre for disabled people have warned a cash-strapped council that its closure would be “devastating”.

Concerned family members have called for assurances over the future of the Sudbury Resource Centre.

Fears have been voiced after Suffolk County Council had to slash £110,000 from the centre's annual budget - prompting doubts about redundancies and the overall future of the facility.

John Rumsey, whose sister Kathryn has used the centre for 23 years, said: “We are trying to get commitments from the council that they will provide the funding to keep our family members safe in an environment they have used for over 20 years.


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“We believe there is a danger that the centre will be cash strapped to such a point that it will be another valuable Sudbury health facility lost forever - that would be devastating.

“We are not trying to whinge and moan - we know the county council want to integrate disabled people more into the community and this is very positive.

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“But if the financial cuts to the resource centre continue my belief is that there will be serious issues surrounding the future of the centre.”

Mr Rumsey, who lives in Great Henny, near Sudbury, spoke poignantly of the centre's value to his sister, who has Down's syndrome.

He said: “The centre is Kathryn's life - her friends are her extended family and it enables her to mix in a safe familiar environment with people of mixed disabilities.

“The environment created at the resource centre gives her a purpose in life. Kathryn works and learns at the centre - when you watch her she comes out of her shell completely, you can see the happiness on her face and she can communicate more clearly.”

Campaigners have now taken their concerns to south Suffolk MP Tim Yeo who visited the centre on Tuesday.

“Obviously, I can fully understand people's concerns during a period of uncertainty but I am satisfied there are no hidden plans to close the centre down,” said Mr Yeo.

“The families are worried about any changes taking place and we will now work together to try and produce ideas which we can put to the county council in due course.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “"We certainly have no plans to close the excellent Sudbury centre, but we are very determined to support people to find the very best opportunities that suit them.

“For some people who have attended the centre for a long time, we will of course work very carefully and closely with them and their carers to find the right choices, to make sure any potential changes are agreed and easily adapted to.”

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