Stop insane act of centre’s closure

Heartbroken residents campaigning outside Ernest Kleinwort Court in Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards
Heartbroken residents campaigning outside Ernest Kleinwort Court in Burgess Hill. Picture: Steve Robards

T G Thompsett

West Gate, Plumpton Green

Having got over the initial shock of your report regarding the closure of the Ernest Kleinwort Centre in Burgess Hill, please find attached a copy of my letter sent today to the Trustees:

I have been a volunteer at the above for some time and am totally shocked by yesterday’s news that the centre is to close. The residents must be totally devastated as this is their home and being with their friends is very very important especially as many have been residents at EKC for many years.

I have noticed over the time I have been connected with the Centre the steady decline in facilities, activities, poor staffing levels and apparent high use of agency staff, and total lack of consistency with decisions made by management which seem to change with “the wind”. Money seems to have been wasted on projects such as the sensory room where the activities had to be carried out on the dining room table while little or no use was made of the room, which was formerly the activities room, where thousands of pounds were spent. The room is now partly being used by activities again but is also a glorified store room with the equipment still in place and not being used.

The recent CQC report does not seem to have had any effect on any of the above problems and I know several of the residents have been deeply worried by the situation but as they say “where else can we go”. This is no doubt on all their minds now as I understand the facility in Lindfield is also in the process of being downsized and closure is likely in the near future.

It would appear to an outsider that the organisation has been allowed to drift along with little or no proper management and it is going to be the residents who suffer.

A change of mind regarding the closure and the replacing of the current management team at both at EKC and head office is required urgently to prevent even more stress on the residents and stop this wonderful facility being moth balled.

I am sure that local feelings will be stirred by the announcement and will put pressure on you the Trustees to act promptly