Protesters fight to save mental health day centre
PROTESTERS have stepped up their campaign to stop the closure of a day centre for people with mental health problems.
Dozens of people opposed to the shutting of the Open Door project, on the Victoria Embankment, held placards outside a Notts County Council meeting at the Masonic Hall in Welbeck Road, West Bridgford.
Nottingham City Council is planing to close the centre, but the county council was discussing where to send people from outside the city boundaries who use the centre.
The city council says it plans to offer alternative day care at other centres in the city.
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But some users and their families say moving to other centres will affect their ability to cope with their conditions.
Bob Aston, 74, of Keyworth, co-ordinator of the Nottingham Rethink Mental Health Group, said: "The city council is doing service users a disfavour.
"They have made a bungling mistake. The impact of the closure will be considerable because there are thousands of people with problems like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in the city and county."
His son Mike, 48, of Eugene Gardens in the Meadows, uses the centre and also opposes the plans. He said: "We are losing a centre which provides social interaction for people to discuss their problems and the staff there are very well trained.
"The closure would disperse people and there would not be a focus for people to attend and maintain relationships."
No date for the closure has been confirmed, but the city council says it will be consulting staff and users.
"The sale of the building is expected to provide "a significant sum", which the council says will be invested in adult social care.
New locations for the people who use the centre have not yet been confirmed. Councillor Dave Liversidge, Nottingham City Council's portfolio holder for adult services, said: "The closure of Open Door is part of a £1 million investment in adult care in the coming year as we re-organise some residential and day care services in the city.
"We have assured users at Open Door and their families that no one will lose their day care provision as a result of the relocation. Instead it will be available at alternative locations across the city."