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‘Please save our centre’ plea as Rethink house in Uttoxeter at risk of closing

Natice Duncan is fearing the future after Rethink funding was stopped

Natice Duncan is fearing the future after Rethink funding was stopped

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‘IT has ripped my heart out’ said a Uttoxeter woman after hearing a residential home for people with mental health issues is at risk of being decommissioned due to funding.

Natice Duncan has been left fearing the future, along with the other residents of Bradley Court, in Bradley Street, after being told it could be closed on September 30 due to a lack of funding.

The home is run by charity Rethink and looks after people suffering with mental illnesses in a residential setting, so they still have their freedom but a support worker is on hand when needed.

Miss Duncan said the home has proved a lifeline for her since she moved in a year ago, having spent most of her adolescent years in and out of hospital.

Residents were told this week funding is being withdrawn from the Supporting People programme, run by Staffordshire County Council.

The 20-year-old is also left fearing the loss of her support worker after years of learning to trust people following the abuse she suffered as a child.

Miss Duncan said: “This house was a lifeline and an opportunity to improve my state of health and give me a sense of normality and freedom from hospital but the support is still there.

“The news of the loss of funding has ripped my heart out if I am to be honest and I think it’s utterly atrocious and beyond unfair that mental health doesn’t get anywhere near the funding that physical health does.

“Mental health is as important and deadly illnesses as any physical one, we need equality.

“I can not stand back and watch this happen without trying to fight it. We desperately need funding to keep this place open.

“I for one will not handle a life without the support of Rethink at Bradley Court.”

She added that she had only been in hospital for two weeks since moving to Rethink compared to months in the years beforehand.

Rethink support worker Charlene Dunn confirmed they had to deliver the news that the home is potentially going to be decommissioned because funding through Supporting People is being stopped, which is provided through Staffordshire County Council.

However, Alan White, the council’s cabinet member for care, said: “We currently provide support through almost 200 contracts, with more than 40 different organisations as part of the national 2003 Supporting People Programme, which dates back more than decade.

“Earlier this year we agreed to look at all contracts due to expire in the next couple of years to ensure we are able to support the right services with the resources we have available.

“We are currently working closely with organisations to examine the contracts and the funding options available to them and our priority will be to focus on supporting the most vulnerable residents who have little or no access to other help or benefits.”

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