CLOSING DOWN

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IN another blow for Fenland, Wisbech is to lose a respite home for mentally and physically disabled children.

The Norwich Road children’s home offers a valuable service to families in Fenland and the surrounding area, with space for up to 30 children at one time, but is to close on August 31 after Cambridgeshire County Council determined there was no longer a need for it.

The families who use the centre to get much-needed support have been told they will either be sent to homes in Huntingdon or Cambridge, or will receive care in their own homes.

A spokesperson for the council said: “After several years of continual growth of the short break services for disabled children within the county, the County Council has reviewed the provision and concluded that there is no longer a need for three residential homes providing overnight care.

“All three of the homes are rated as “good” by Ofsted but the homes in Cambridge and Huntingdon are newer and better designed to meet the needs of young people with more complex needs. Therefore the decision has been taken to close Norwich Road.

“The needs of all the young people currently using Norwich Road have been reviewed and they have been allocated new services to meet those needs.

“A small number are in the process of transferring to the Cambridge or Huntingdon homes whilst others will receive overnight care from our new family Link placements. Some will use the County Council’s Community Support Service whilst other families will be using direct payments to purchase their own support directly, all in the Fenland area.”

It has also been a blow for the 24 staff members who work at the home.

One, who did not want to be named, said: “Morale is very low. The staff have been working there tirelessly, some for over 20 years, and we feel we’ve been treated terribly.

“Lots of the children have life-limiting conditions and there’s really a need for the home.”

• Will you be affected by the closure? Let us know. Contact the newsdesk on 01945-586133 or email emma.mason@fenlandcitizen.co.uk