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Heartbreak over plans to axe senior citizens' social club in Birchwood
2:40pm Friday 5th October 2012 in News
PENSIONERS aged up to 101 say they are ‘shocked and upset’ that their groups and day centres could be closed.
Members of the Birchwood seniors club, which has been running for 40 years and is based on Benson Road, were told last week the club would close on October 20.
But group member David Ricketts, aged 87, said after speaking to the Warrington Guardian they have been told the closing date has been extended but they still do not know for how long or why.
Mr Ricketts added: “We have been given nowhere to go and there has been no consideration at all.
“We have between 40 and 50 members over five mornings a week and we enjoy having a chat and a cup of tea.
“You can suffer from boredom sat at home alone and there’s nothing else for senior people to do in Birchwood.”
Cyril Leake, aged 86, was also angry to hear the ‘appalling decision’ that Broomfields Day Centre, Bridge Lane, would be losing staff.
He uses the group twice a week and said he had been told ‘support was being withdrawn’.
He added: “At our age it has come as a real blow.
“We live alone in empty houses but twice a week we get a bit of company, play a game of dominoes, have a few laughs and look forward to seeing new friends.
“The average age is 80 but one chap turned 101 a week ago.”
Both men said they were disappointed there had been no consultation or anyone explaining the decision.
Steve Reddy, assistant director of adult social care, said the council ‘does not intend to stop supporting groups’ and senior managers will be visiting clubs throughout October to reassure and advise over changes to ‘Fair Access to Care eligibility criteria’.
He added: “The council is exploring ways we can help older people’s community day care and luncheon club activities to access more volunteer support and apply for grants.
“With the change to the eligibility criteria, and the reduced levels of resources the council has to meet ‘moderate’ needs, we will be seeking to encourage more people to volunteer and get involved to support these types of groups across Warrington.”