Lifeline for elderly looks set to close

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A lifeline service for elderly and vulnerable people is threatened with closure - again.

The Adult Support and Outreach Service (ASOS), based at Clifton Academy in Clifton Drive South, St Annes, is set to close at the end of this month, leaving many fearing for the care and wellbeing of vulnerable elderly residents.

The service offers a place for older and vulnerable people, particularly those with mental health needs, for socialising in the daytime, as well as offering respite to families. The service was founded as the Church Road Day Care Unit in 1975, becoming ASOS in 2008, at Church Road Methodist Church, and was threatened with closure in 2013, due to “unaffordable” rents.

Fylde Coun Mark Bamforth said he will be doing all he can to help secure the future of the “highly thought of” service.

He added: “I heard it’s going under and the place it’s in now is up for sale.

“We’re in desperate need of it, a lot of people use it. It offers families respite and somewhere different and social for people to go to.

“I’ve never heard any complaints about the service, it’s very highly thought of and we don’t want to lose it.

“The purse strings are tight for everyone at the moment but we thought about seeing what grants might be available. We need to move fast.”

St Annes resident Trevor Galley, whose wife Jean works for the service, said he feared for both the security of staff member’s jobs as well as the impact the loss of the charity could have on elderly people and their families.

He said: “It’s such a shame, this just shouldn’t be happening.”

Care bosses at Lancashire County Council said they will work to find alternative provision.

A spokesman said: “We have been advised that the Adult Support and Outreach Service in St Annes is to close later this month.

“We understand that this will be an anxious time for some people, but would like to reassure people who use the service and their families that we will be in touch to offer support to find alternative arrangements.

“We’ll review people’s social care arrangements as appropriate and support them to consider community services in the area that are suitable for them.”

No one from ASOS was available for comment.