Swansea day centre patronned by Zeta Jones is set to close

A DAY centre for people with disabilities which has Hollywood superstar Catherine Zeta Jones as its patron is to close, it has been announced.

Longfields Day Centre in West Cross is to be shut by the end of summer as the charity which runs the site, Walsingham, has said it is no longer financially sustainable.

The facility, which has been based in West Cross since 1952, currently helps 34 adults with learning and physical difficulties and employs 19 members of staff.

Both Walsingham and Swansea Council have assured the families of people who use the site that alternative arrangements for their needs will be found.

Walsingham Chief Executive Paul Snell said: “It is with much sadness that we have taken this decision. As an organisation, we are committed to supporting people with disabilities to lead a full life.”

“We merged with the Longfields Association in February 2010 with the full intention of continuing and enhancing the day service at Longfields.

“However, despite our substantial investment in the centre, we are no longer able to continue providing this service as the financial losses are too great.”

Michael Vickers, of Gendros, told the Evening post the closure would have a huge impact on his 44-year-old daughter who suffers from Spina Bifida.

“Jayne has been going there since she was 19. Being able to go there for so long has meant she has been part of a community and my big fear is if she is moved somewhere else she won’t have that environment,” he said.

Nick Tregoning, cabinet member for Social Services, said: “The number one priority for us and Walsingham now is to make the transition as smooth as possible for those who use the services.”

He added: “I am very pleased to hear from Walsingham that if Longfields is sold all the proceeds will be ploughed back into services supporting people with learning disabilities in Swansea.”