Age UK reveals details of merger in wake of financial pressure faced by charity

PUBLISHED: 15:59 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:08 21 January 2014

Financial pressures have forced an independent elderly charity to merge four of its north west Kent centres into two.

Age UK will combine the services of its Northfleet centre in Coldharbour Road and the Fleming Resource Centre in Clarence Row by March 31.

The Swanscombe centre in the Oast House Day Centre, St Paul’s Close, will join with the charity’s Dartford office at the Meadowside Day Centre before February 21.

According to the charity, of the 29 staff facing redundancy, seven have been redeployed or found alternative work.

Age UK says it is in “strong discussions” with the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services (ADSS) about collaborating and preserving the Northfleet site to provide much needed dementia day and support services for the area’s residents.

An Age UK spokesman said: “These decisions mean overall day services will not be reduced and will continue to be provided at current levels in both Dartford and Gravesham.

“However, the charity fully realises how upsetting have to move from a familiar centre can be.”

The Gravesham Labour party expressed its “deep concern” and “disappointment” over the move last week at a meeting.

Jean Christie, chairman of the branch, said: “It is a sad reflection on the government’s priorities that tax reduction for the wealthiest takes precedence over financing day care for the elderly.”

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