CHARITY volunteers have been left angry and upset at Age Concern Cheshire’s proposals to close their day care centres for elderly people.
The charity is consulting with volunteers on the proposals which could see the day centres disappear in Chester, Ellesmere Port and Vale Royal’s rural area which include centres in Helsby, Tattenhall, Tarporley, Kelsall and Malpas.
Age Concern Cheshire’s chief executive Jill Walters said the consolation was all part of an ‘expansion’ process.
In a statement Age Concern Cheshire said: “Age Concern Cheshire is gathering views on a proposal that will expand the organisations activities in Cheshire West and Chester (CWAC).
“The proposal contains plans to expand the range of service provision currently available.
“All the organisations staff and volunteers have been consulted in a process that will take until mid April, when final decisions will be made.”
Volunteers are concerned adequate and viable alternative services to the day care centres will not be available and will not be suitable for the most frail and elderly people in the community.
Age Concern, like many other voluntary organisations within Cheshire West, have seen their funding from CWAC cut by 10%.
But the charity and the council both state the reorganisation of the service provision within the charity has nothing to do with the funding cut.
Age Concern’s website says the aims of day care services are to relieve social isolation, promote social integration, independence and rehabilitation.
It often involves volunteers picking up elderly people from their homes and taking them to a community centre or village hall where they can sit and talk with others, play games and enjoy other activities.
A volunteer who wished to remain anonymous said: “This is not a consultation it is a confrontation.
“This seems to be a one woman show and she is telling us what is happening. Employees of Age Concern have already been told their will be redundancies. This is not about expansion it is about cost cutting.”
CWaC Cllr Marie Nelson, said: “A lot of volunteers are very upset about this. They believe that Age Concern have decided to cut this service without coming up with a suitable alternative, and they worry they are not being properly consulted.”
“They enjoy what they do, and see the elderly people enjoy the day care centres. It is very upsetting when they think the wrong thing is being done.”