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Dementia group folds after Burnham care centre closes
ELDERLY people who suffer with dementia are missing out on support now a care centre in Burnham has closed.
The Care Centre in College Street, which provided a place for support groups to meet, has been struggling to gain enough funding to keep afloat since its opening a year ago.
Manager Gaynor Brown, who co-founded the centre, told the Weekly News its success inadvertently contributed to its closure.
She said: “The groups started off small with a few people and gradually became larger until they felt they needed to move to a bigger building to accommodate their higher numbers.”
The Care Centre helped a lot of people, from cancer support groups to mental health groups. Those groups have now moved on, but the people that depended on The Care Centre the most were the dementia group.
Gaynor added: “Burnham has a lot of elderly residents who move to retire by the sea. Their support group and family are left behind and when one of them falls ill with dementia, the other is left to take on all the responsibilities. That can be a lot of stress and Burnham still needs a group that can support them.”
The dementia group was set up by The Care Centre and Gaynor is currently seeking funding to re-establish it at an alternative venue as a Community Interest Group.
Gaynor said applying to have the care centre registered as a charity made it near impossible to get the funding needed to keep it open.
She added: “The centre relied on grant funding and contributions so we decided to register as a charity. We were required to register as a Ltd company for nine months before being eligible, and we had to get an accountant. All of this costs money.
“Additional funding had been promised to us, but because we’d registered as a Ltd company we were no longer eligible for that funding. As a result we were forced to close.
“Trying to apply to become a charity must kill off so many small groups like ours.”
To support the re-formation of the dementia group, please call 01278-238714.