Protests over care change

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

Pro­test­ers are to voice their anger at the re­moval of overnight respite care from a chil­dren’s home in Peter­bor­ough.

The Manor in Derby Drive, Dogsthorpe, will end the respite ser­vice for young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties fol­low­ing a vote by city coun­cil­lors.

The move was voted through by the Con­ser­va­tives de­spite con­cerns at the pro­pos­als,al­though no op­po­si­tion party put for­ward an amend­ment to re­verse the cut. The coun­cil has in­sisted chil­dren who need overnight care will be able to use Cherry Lodge in Or­ton Gold­hay in­stead, and that fos­ter care, after school clubs and out­reach ser­vices will also be avail­able. But He­len Harber from Wer­ring­ton, whose son Luke (15) has Down’s syn­drome and used to stay overnight at The Manor ev­ery other week­end, is con­cerned at the loss of respite care. He­len (52) who has had cancer six times said: “I want pub­lic aware­ness be­cause a lot of peo­ple do not un­der­stand what The Manor is about un­less you have chil­dren or rel­a­tives with spe­cial needs. The coun­cil have not re­ally thought it through. It’s very dif­fi­cult to put peo­ple into Cherry Lodge be­cause they are dif­fer­ent type of chil­dren.

“Fam­i­lies are go­ing to have melt­downs and even split up be­cause they can’t cope.”

A coun­cil spokesman said new fully qual­i­fied fos­ter car­ers will be avail­able to help chil­dren who pre­vi­ously at­tended The Manor, and each fam­ily will have a ded­i­cated social worker.

The protest will be out­side the WH Smith shop in Bridge Street on Wed­nes­day from 1pm.

He­len Harber at home in Wer­ring­ton with her son Luke (15), hus­band Stephen and mum Shirley

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