Mental health charity’s centre in Bourne to shut after funding changes

A MENTAL health charity is desperately seeking a new home after funding cuts forced it to vacate its building.

South Lincolnshire Mind, based in North Street, Bourne, offered mental health support to people in and around Bourne, along with their carers, families and friends.

But members learned on Friday that due to government policy, Lincolnshire County Council would no longer fund the centre and it would have to close.

Members who used the service will instead be paid a personal budget and will have to seek out help and support themselves.

Team leader at the centre Sandra Dodson said: “Members and staff at the Bourne Centre of South Lincolnshire Mind were very upset and worried when the news was delivered to them on Friday afternoon.

“Efforts are already under way to try and find alternative premises from which to operate some kind of replacement centre to cater for the needs of the 40 plus service users, as it is these people who will suffer by the loss of the facility.”

Val Nicholas, 52, of West Road, Pointon, had used the centre for eight years and says she has lost all her support now it has closed.

“I will be stuck inside all the time, I have nothing else.

“I don’t feel confident going outside and I don’t drive so I have nowhere to go.

“Giving service users a personal budget instead will be too much responsibility for many. It will just stress them out more and make their problems worse.

“I am worried I will go downhill without the centre. It’s a big loss and members are all panicking about what to do now.”

Coun Graham Marsh, executive councillor for adult social care, defended the decision.

He said: “Services haven’t been cut but the way they are provided has changed to give people more choice and control over what they want and need.

“All people eligible for services with South Lincolnshire Mind have been assessed for and given a personal budget.

“They are now able to use their budgets to choose how their services are delivered and by whom.”

South Lincolnshire Mind staff have appealed for anyone with any ideas or comments on where a new centre might be located to get in touch with Sandra Dodson on 01778 425435 between 9.30am and 3.30pm Monday to Friday.