Funding shortfall forces closure of elderly charity

Care for the Disappointed users of the Community Care for the Elderley Group at Great Ponton Community Centre.

Care for the Disappointed users of the Community Care for the Elderley Group at Great Ponton Community Centre.

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A CHARITY which provides vital support for elderly people in the Grantham area will close at the end of March after failing to agree terms on funding with Lincolnshire County Council.

Community Care for the Elderly has been in existence since 1983 and runs day centres around the area which allow elderly people to socialise and avoid becoming isolated.

But at a meeting on Tuesday, chairman Andy Severn told service users that the charity cannot continue.

He said: “This has not been an easy decision for the management committee, but financial support of our services under the new funding regime means that we cannot continue.”

Mr Severn said changing funding arrangments and the impact of the introduction of personal care budgets means the charity faces a £72,000 funding shortfall.

Ray Biggs was at the meeting representing his mother, who uses the service.

He said: “For a lot of people the charity offers their one day out each week.The importance of those few hours can’t be appreciated by us.

“We all understand the restraints the county council is under, but we owe it to older people to explain to the council that this is a releatively inexpensive service.”

But Lincolnshire County Council told the Journal it had hoped to continue funding the charity.

Head of adult and children’s commissioning Richard Collins said: “The organisation was offered a contract to continue delivering services after a tendering process and this was accepted by them.

“We looked forward to working with them, but now they have decided to terminate the contract.

“We will coninue to support people who were using services provided by this organisation and those who are eligible for a service through alternative arrangements.”

l Are you affected by the closure of Community Care for the Elderly? E-mail: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk or write to Grantham Journal, 46 High Street, Grantham.