Staff left out in cold as centre shuts doors

Lorna Simpson, Jules Barnes and Karen Brakewell outside Pierpoint House, in St Annes, with their letter of redundancy.

Lorna Simpson, Jules Barnes and Karen Brakewell outside Pierpoint House, in St Annes, with their letter of redundancy.

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STUNNED staff were axed without notice as a rehabilitation centre suddenly closed its doors.

Pierpoint, on Clifton Drive North, St Annes, shut down yesterday, making staff redundant and moving its clients out with immediate effect.

The move left staff at the centre – which has dealt with drug and alcohol rehabilitation for more than 20 years – shocked and angry.

Many say they are hundreds of pounds out of pocket after directors John Grady and Mark Styles failed to pay wages in full and they were “not in a position” to pay salaries, redundancy or notice period.

Jules Barnes, a support worker at the centre, said: “They owe me a lot of money, something like £1,200.

“I don’t know how I will see that. I was just given my notice and it’s immediate.

“It’s been going down for a bit, we’ve only been getting bits of wages. I don’t know how I will find another job, it’s hard at the moment.”

There were around 36 staff employed at Pierpoint, and fellow support worker Karen Brakewell, who has been employed by the firm for two years, said: “They still owe me £1,600.

“We have all been given letters of redundancy but the management have not been to speak to us.”

The centre was controversial when it opened in 1988, after Mr Grady converted his aunt’s former home into a rehabilitation centre.

But it has since helped hundreds of people battle addictions, including Lorna Simpson, who returned to work as a support worker.

She said: “It saved lives but it is killing (worker’s) lives now.”

And devastated support worker Dale Carley added: “I have been here two years and I feel betrayed.

“I’m frightened for my family and we have been treated like dirt.”

The centre recently hit the headlines after it was signed up to take patients from well-known ITV show Jeremy Kyle.

But today Mr Grady said the company had entered administration due to a lack of referrals.

He said: “It is with great regret that I announce that Pierpoint Addiction Treatment Centres has today, entered administration.

“In recent years, the industry as a whole has suffered from a lack of referrals into rehabilitation programmes and unfortunately, Pierpoint could no longer be maintained in its present form.

“All of our residents currently in treatment have been relocated to alternative rehabilitation programmes where they will continue to be cared for and treated to the same high standards Pierpoint has become renowned for over the past 24 years.

“We remain hopeful that the hard work of our loyal employees will see the Pierpoint brand saved, as we continue our ongoing discussions with several interested parties in the forthcoming days.

“We would like to thank all who have been involved with and supported Pierpoint over the past two decades, employees, patients and ex-patients.”

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