Staff to lose jobs when a Penzance day centre shuts

A Penzance day care centre which is used by more than 40 people is to shut with the loss of nine jobs. St Mary’s Haven day centre will shut on 26 February for financial reasons.

Trustees for St Mary’s Haven charity said that in the last financial year it lost about £30,000 and that losses for this year were likely to be higher.

A spokesman for the trust, which also runs both a respite and residential centre, said that it was only the day centre which would be affected.

‘Dreadful shame’

The centre is funded by some users who pay for their own attendance and others who have their fee paid for by social services.

Trustee Ken Jaggard said that the trust was currently in talks with trustees of another day centre in the town over the possibility of transferring users from St Mary’s, which has been running for 26 years.

“It was a very difficult decision the trustees had to make and it is a dreadful shame,” Mr Jaggard said.

“However, we have to look at the charity as a whole and the day centre has been making losses for the past four or five years.

“If we continued to keep the day centre open the money would have had to have come out of funds for the respite and residential centres and it would mean that in two or three years the whole thing would have come to a standstill.”

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “St Mary’s Haven day care centre has provided a good service to its users in the past and the news of its imminent closure is very sad.

“The council’s priority will now be to work with the day care centre team to support them in finding suitable alternative care for those affected by the closure.

“The council is not in a position to influence the decision of the trustees to close the facility.

“However, it will be individually reviewing the support needs of the people that the council currently funds to attend the day centre in order to make alternative, appropriate provision to meet their assessed needs.”