Bexhill volunteers needed to keep dementia services open

A Sussex wide charity which has its roots in Hastings and Bexhill has raised concerns that closing day centres will have a devastating effect on elderly and vulnerable people. 

Dementia Support East Sussex was reacting to the closure of three Age UK day centres in the county.

Cliff Slack, from the charity, said: “The ongoing central Government policy of reducing funding for social care, brings the inevitability of budget cuts across the board. “This has left some county councils facing the impossible task of balancing the books, leaving them with limited options but to close some care facilities, often the life blood of the community."

"The closure of the clubs in Horam happened overnight, leaving many in great shock. It added to the real problem, of diminishing resources available to those most in need.”

The charity was able to come to the support of the clubs in Horam and plans to re-launch them, but Cliff fears there will be more cuts to follow and the charity is appealing for community volunteers to work with them and help plug the gap.

He said: “Who knows where the axe will fall next on social care resources? “Almost every dementia day centre that we attend is under threat of closure, and the Isabel Blackman, Hastings closure, is much too close to home for comfort."

"This is an ongoing disaster of potentially epic proportions."

“Figures show 42% of the population are effected by dementia, either directly, or through close friends and family. Dementia is now the number one killer in the UK."

 “If we don’t help no one else will, we are appealing for volunteers to help us keep services open.”

Dementia Support East Sussex was formed four years ago with the aim of addressing some of the gaps in the existing provision of support for those living with dementia, while offering respite opportunities for their carer’s.

The first club was opened in Bexhill and there are now clubs county-wide, offering exciting, innovative and interactive group singing sessions.

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Article by Andy Hemsley - Published 14/8/18 Hastings and St Leonard's Observer