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Fight to save day care centre in Willesden threatened with closure

PUBLISHED: 11:28 21 January 2015 | UPDATED: 11:28 21 January 2015

New Millenium Day Care Centre Committee: Brian Broward, Gerard Kelly, Hazel Sheppard, Michael Cankech, Sandra Duke (Chair), Cassie Hawkes

New Millenium Day Care Centre Committee: Brian Broward, Gerard Kelly, Hazel Sheppard, Michael Cankech, Sandra Duke (Chair), Cassie Hawkes

Copyright: Mr. Jan Nevill

Angry, confused and frightened, a crowd of people who depend on Willesden’s only day care centre are prepared to fight for its survival with the little time they have left.

New Millenium Day Care Centre - Michael Hurley, Urmi Shah, Vimla Dudka, Kancham Shah, Kambai PatelNew Millenium Day Care Centre - Michael Hurley, Urmi Shah, Vimla Dudka, Kancham Shah, Kambai Patel

More than 100 service users, their families and carers, who depend on the New Millenium Day Centre in Robson Avenue, gathered for a meeting on how to save their ‘lifeline’ as Brent Council prepare to make cuts totalling £54m.

Sandra Duke, chair of the client’s committee told them: “We will fight this together. We will do everything in our power to keep the centre open.”

The day centre caters for 80 people with multiple complex physical and mental disabilities while offering respite to their carers.

She added: “This centre is home to a lot of people. Where else can they go? There is nowhere. They closed Strathcona Road Day Centre and Stonebridge Day Centre and they all came here. People depend on it. We must find ways to keep it open.”

New Millenium Day Centre Robson Avenue - John and Linda Harman and Vijay PatelNew Millenium Day Centre Robson Avenue - John and Linda Harman and Vijay Patel

Brian Broward is blind, deaf and paralysed down one side has used the centre three days a week for 30 years.

The 79-year-old said: “If it goes go I’m going to be completely lost and my wife will go downhill very fast looking after me seven days a week.”

His wife Valerie Broward, also 79, who cares for him full-time, added: “I hope it stays here. It’s a lifeline for him and it gives me a little me time. I have to do it all myself.”

Linda Harman who has back pain caused by a curvature of her spine cares for her brother John Harman who has cerebral palsy.

Millenium Day Care Centre Blind, Deaf and paralysed Brian Broward and wife Valerie BrowardMillenium Day Care Centre Blind, Deaf and paralysed Brian Broward and wife Valerie Broward

She brings him to the centre by bus three times a week. “It’s difficult because he only has a low rate care disability. We find it quite hard to pay for the transport so if the centre closed we would just be stuck at home. Everyday he wants to go out but I can’t as it’s heavy pushing the wheelchair.”

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Brent Council’s lead member of adults, health and wellbeing, said:“The proposal as it stands is to close the centre and reprovide services elsewhere with a buildings options appraisal about what can be done with the current building. It May be that there’s a different service going in there going forward which people can use and even more people can utilise.”


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