BOSSES of a centre that carers need for essential support fear the council may close it without finding a suitable alternative
The Carer's Centre is a one-stop-shop providing a wide range of help, from general advice, advocacy and computer training, to affordable therapies and coffee mornings.
Ealing Council wants to stop paying the £50,000 rent on the building in South Ealing Road, and move the services to a council-owned building.
But Ealing Centre for Independent Living (Ecil), which runs the centre, said it would be difficult to find one that would provide the space they need. An earlier suggestion of space within Carmelita House in Ealing Broadway was withdrawn after Ecil convinced them it would not work.
Sian Vasey director of Ecil, said: “We’d like to stay. At £50,000 it’s an absolute bargain and it gives carers something back for what they do and without it many would not be able to cope. If they couldn’t carry on, it’d be the council to pick up the cost. We’ll move if we have to, but the question is where? There is nothing on the table that is a realistic option.”
Research by the charity Carers UK shows each carer saves the country an average of £18,500 a year, much of it in councils’ social services costs. Ealing has 26,000 carers, saving about £480 million.
The centre has about 300 visits a month.
A council spokeswoman said: “We are committed to the Carer’s Centre and the valuable work they do and have no intention of either closing it or reducing the services it offers.
“We have given our assurances the organisations that run the centre will not be asked to move until new premises have been found they are happy with.”