Great Massingham parents launch battle to keep Swaffham care group together

Glenda and Charlton (Geordie) Todd with their son David Todd (53) at home in Great Massingham
Glenda and Charlton (Geordie) Todd with their son David Todd (53) at home in Great Massingham

A couple from Great Massingham are hoping to stop a care group their son belongs to from being split up, having been told the service could move.

Charlton and Glenda Todd, whose son David, 53, is cared for five days a week by Independence Matters in Swaffham, say if the service was to move, this could create a “difficult time” for the family.

Mr Todd said Independence Matters is currently being housed at the Swaffham Community Hub, based at the NorseCare-run Westfields Care Home.

But now NorseCare has said it wants the rented rooms back for their own use, leaving Independence Matters to try and find a new home.

“They are trying very hard to try and find another building to keep the group together and, if not, they will all be sent out to different hubs,” Mr Todd said.

He said the family want to make more people aware of the situation they are in.

The group David currently belongs to has seven other members, and he has been part of it for five years.

“The staff are brilliant and it just seems a shame that they would all be split up,” Mr Todd added.

David, who has never been given a formal diagnosis but has mental and physical disabilities, is cared for five days a week from the morning until the evening by Independence Matters.

“He really enjoys it and that gives us a break to do shopping etc, and we care for him throughout the night.

“It’s brilliant in that sense. We would like to keep him in that place.”

Mr Todd said the group enjoy a variety of outings to “make things normal for them”.

“David has no speech and no understanding, apparently, but he and I have a great rapport.

“If I leave the room he calls me in his way. I believe he understands some things.”

A letter was sent out to the group just over a week ago to say NorseCare want the rooms back early next year, Mr Todd said.

If Independence Matters are not able to find a new home of their own for the group, Mr Todd said other options could include care homes, but the family would have to ensure they are suitable for David.

“That would be a difficult time,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council, which owns NorseCare, said: “The Swaffham Community Hub provides a small local day service to adults with learning disabilities and currently offers a service to eight customers managed by Independence Matters.

“The hub is based in Westfields Care Home and the service will close by 31 March 2018.

“Norfolk County Council will be assessing anyone affected by this closure to ensure that suitable alternatives are found for everyone.

“This will also give customers the opportunity to take part in different community based activities that other day care centres may not provide. No one will be left without a service.

“NorseCare will be refurbishing this area of the home to provide additional care services for older people.”