New hope for axed centres
Five-month reprieve for day services
Families pleading for day centres to be saved have been told they will remain open for almost five months.
Campaigners want the Capability Scotland services to run after it pulled the plug due to lack of funds.
Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (RHSC) has agreed to stump-up £35,000 to keep the lights on in Paisley and Johnstone until January.
Group chairwoman, Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, says steps will be put in place to offer alternatives if the charity cannot find a costeffective means to keep services going.
She said: “I am acutely aware of the unsettling effects of recent months for service users and carers who access these day services and would like to reassure them that they remain our priority.
“We recognise the urgency of this situation and are finalising assessments for the 47 people who attend these services to ensure they each have their own personal, needsassessed plan in place.
“We will then discuss these plans with each service user and their carers.
“At the same time we are extending our wide range of modern services for people with learning disabilities across Renfrewshire.
“These services are highly regarded and place an emphasis on community integration, promoting independence and enhancing life skills.
“We recognise the importance of maintaining existing friendship relationships as part of any change to service provision and want to ensure a smooth transition which minimises disruption to service users and carers.
“We will ensure service users and carers are kept up-to-date on developments and their views are fully considered.”
RHSC met yesterday to thrash out plans to support vulnerable service users at Whitehaugh and West Lane Gardens.
It agreed to a one-off payment to keep the doors open until January 31.
Charity bosses revealed plans to axe the centres in July due to lack of cash.
Families have been left devastated by the announcement and have called for action to safeguard care.
The centres offer support to adults and young people with learning difficulties and are well-used.
Activists have written to each of Renfrewshire’s 43 elected members asking them to back their campaign – including one man who has been using the service for 52 years.
Around 20 workers have also been left fearing for their jobs and those they care for.
RHSC has told Capability Scotland to find a solution to deliver care within a tighter budget.
But it says it will offer its own services if no plan can be delivered.
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson has called for a quick resolution to help provide answers for those in need.
He said: “The council has expressed its view that the needs of those using the services are the priority.
“It is vital that everyone continues to listen to them and their carers to ensure there are person centred plans in place which meet their needs.”
Among those affected is Alan Johnston, 50, of Houston, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and has been using West Lane Gardens, in Johnstone, for the last decade.
Mum Anne, 77, warns her son is becoming a “paranoid recluse” and has had his medication increased because he is so upset at the thought of losing his friends.
She told how the service is a lifeline to families and offers more than just support.
Anne explained: “The staff and users at West Lane Gardens are like his family. It’s like a wee bolthole for him, he loves it, and now it’s being whipped away.”