Families of Wellingborough day centre facing funding cuts tell of the lifeline it offers

Families whose relatives attend a Wellingborough day care centre that is losing some funding have spoken of the lifeline the service gives to them.

By Sarah Ward
Friday, 25th October 2019, 6:00 am
Ian Warman.
Ian Warman.

Children and grandchildren whose loved ones use Glamis Hall say the care given to their family members by the centre on the Queensway estate is invaluable.

Dennis Evans says his grandfather, also called Dennis, being able to go along to the centre each day, has prevented him from going into residential care and saved his own marriage.

He took his grandfather in when his wife died four years ago to prevent him going into a home but said his grandad’s unhappiness was having an impact on his own family life and putting a strain on his own relationship.

Dennis Evans and grandson Dennis Evans.

But going along to Glamis Hall has turned their life around.

Dennis, from Raunds, said: “He loves it here and is waiting to come each day. He is a completely different person. Before he came he was upset and depressed and the situation got so bad that it almost split my family up.

"But he is a different person now. He gets up at 6.30am and is waiting to come here and says it is like going to school. I dread to think what would have happened if we had not found Glamis Hall.”

The centre is set to lose £28,000 when the social wellbeing contract comes to an end in March. It has been funding 12 organisations that help the elderly and homeless in the county but they were recently told the £1.6m funding would end, with no other funding guaranteed.

Alison Hill (Day Centre Manager) and Darren Pocock (Assistant Manager)

Glamis Hall says the lost funds will not threaten its future as it had anticipated the cut and has funds saved.

Tracey Gore’s dad Steve Minter is another regular who loves going to the centre. Since suffering a number of strokes he now has vasclar dementia.

She said: “He really enjoys coming here and it helps keep his brain going. The staff here are just amazing. Without the centre I would not be able to work.”

Ninety-five-year-old Vera Beltram is also another happy user. Before she went along to the centre her daughter Jan said she was depressed and lonely, but is now even singing and dancing when she comes to Glamis Hall.

Christine and Bob Osborne.

She said: “She is now so happy and we don’t have to worry about her. She is picked up from home and the driver collects her first as they know she likes to have a drive around. It is wonderful and she tells everyone who comes to see her just how great Glamis Hall is.”

The centre was taken from the borough council in 2015 and now runs as a charity. A team of busy trustees make sure funding comes in and the venue is also regularly hired out.

Manager Alison Hill, who has worked in the care industry for many decades, said the cuts will not force the closure of the centre but she is angry that money is being taken out of local authority budgets.

She said: “There is more need for places like this because people are living longer. We do all the small things that can make a difference, such as helping with bills and appointments.

Driver Barrie Henson.

“We should not have to fundraise as this should be a mandatory service. The clients have paid their taxes and deserve to be treated with respect.”

Sarah Ward, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Jan Stimson and her mum Vera Beltram
Service users say Glamis Hall is a lifeline.
Ann and John King.
Glamis Hall.