‘Dismay as ‘lifeline’ service is forced to close its doors

Strathmiglo ;'disabled man Len Pearce (85),  who is upset about the closure of a local day centre'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
Strathmiglo ;'disabled man Len Pearce (85), who is upset about the closure of a local day centre'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
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A DISABLED pensioner from Strathmiglo has criticised the closure of a service he says provides a ‘lifeline’ for elderly people in the Howe.

Widower Len Pearce (85) was dismayed to receive a letter to say the Kinloch day care facility in Auchtermuchty was to be scrapped.

He says the weekly trip to the centre was the highlight of his week and that for many 
local pensioners it was their only opportunity to enjoy some companionship.

Len has lived alone with his dog Lass in East Back Dykes since losing his beloved wife Mabel six years ago. He suffers from type 2 diabetes and is now wheelchair-bound.

“I really look forward to my days at Kinloch as it gets me out of the house,” he said.

“The staff are wonderful and the service provides a lifeline for people like myself. It only costs £4 and I for one would willingly pay more if it meant it could be kept going.”

Rev. Syd Graham, convener of the social care council of the Church of Scotland, which runs the facility, said he ‘deeply regretted’ the decision to close it.

He said that it had the capacity for 50, but now only averaged 25 attendees a week because Fife Council’s social services department were unable to make any more 
referrals due to financial constraints.

“This is not financially 
viable and the Social Care Council can no longer subsidise the loss,” said Mr Graham.

“I deeply regret the decision to close the centre. We have explored a number of alternative models of service but they do not fit in with the long-term plans for the area.

“We care deeply for our existing service users and wish another option was possible. Because of the current economic situation it is impossible to sustain Kinloch.”