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Time to close for a number of reasons

Written by on 23 October 2018

Teynham day centre to close

A charity aimed at helping elderly people in Teynham is to close it doors on its day centre.

Age UK Faversham & Sittingbourne which covers Teynham has decided to close its branch based at the Belle Friday Centre along London Road. The centre currently provides day services twice a week, dementia day services three times a week as well as hair & foot services.

Age UK says its decision is down to a number of reasons, one being that the charity wants to expand its dementia day services. A dedicated unit will be created at the Faversham Centre, which will allow more clients to be accommodated. The Faversham Centre already has a seven day-a-week service which will upgrade the residents of Teynham from 3 days to 7.

The other reasons for the closure were that the numbers for traditional older persons’ day services have been falling at Teynham in recent years, meaning the service is running at a “significant loss”, and that there are concerns about ongoing client safety as the site does not have any parking, meaning many frail and vulnerable people – including some with dementia – are having to step off the bus directly onto the A2. Whilst staff are on hand to assist clients when getting on and off the buses, the charity said, the road is becoming increasingly busy and this a growing concern.

Meanwhile, those attending via their own transport are having to park some distance from the site and cross the busy A2.

“No longer suitable…”

Speaking about the closure, chief officer Liz Thorne said: “It is with much regret that the board of trustees have made the decision to close the Belle Friday Centre.
“The site is no longer suitable for our ongoing use, and is not currently financially viable due to low numbers of clients for our traditional day services.
“Our two nearby centres at Faversham and Sittingbourne provide a greater range of services, including in-centre assisted bathing and information and advice on site, and can accommodate all of our clients, who will be able to access the centres via our adapted fleet of minibuses.”
She added: “We will be working with our staff, volunteers and clients over the next few months to ensure the transition happens as smoothly as possible.
“We will also be looking at the possibility of establishing a regular lunch club in Teynham for those people who would still like to attend something in the village.”

“There is not yet a date set…”

The charity said there is not yet a date for the closure of the Belle Friday Centre and that there would be no immediate redundancies as all staff will be transferred to the other centres.

The Bell Friday Centre will be sold to fund improvements and new services at Faversham and Sittingbourne.