Trevor wins reprieve on day centre funding cut

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A DISABLED man, who faced cuts to funding which allows him to attend a day centre, has been given a reprieve, thanks to the Bury Free Press.

Trevor Baker takes part in woodwork activities at The Centre, in Bury St Edmunds, three days a week – with two paid for by Suffolk County Council.

Following a review, the authority had planned axe his funding, which also covers travel costs from his home in Thurston to the Station Hill facility. He was told he no longer met the appropriate criteria.

The former carpenter, who is confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke 15-years-ago, also attends The Centre one day a week as a volunteer, but has to pay for his own travel.

He could not afford to pay for the other days.

His funding was due to finish next week.

However, following an intervention by the Bury Free Press, the authority has decided to fund him for a day.

Mr Baker said: “If I had lost this I would have been very depressed. At the moment I’m so interested in going there that it’s my life really.

“It would have completely ruined my life by not going because I’m meeting other people and getting away from my house.

“My wife is my only carer and she doesn’t get one penny for looking after me. It gives her a bit of a break.

“I feel a lot better now that I’ve got a day back. One has to make the best of what one’s got. The Centre means everything to me because not only do I go for myself but I really enjoy helping other people.”

Costs to attend The Centre for a day range from £7 to £46.

John Morley, operations manager for The Centre, said reviews in social care funding will affect the facility, which also has sites in Haverhill and Ipswich. He added: “It’s a bit of a turn around for Trevor and superb for him.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We have reviewed Mr Baker’s care package and offered him appropriate support to help him maintain his wellbeing and independence. We’re not able to comment further on his individual and personal case.”