If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Hillcote campaign grows
THE campaign to save a respite home in Salisbury that provides a lifeline to parents of children with severe disabilities is gathering momentum.
Worried parents joined forces to launch the Save Hillcote group when Wiltshire Council announced it plans to close the home in Manor Road in April next year.
Hillcote is the only facility of its kind in the city and its closure would mean children would either have to go to Devizes for respite care or to specialised foster carers. Campaigners, worried at their children facing upheaval and being so far away from them in the event of an emergency, have already gathered close to 2,000 signatures on petitions calling for a rethink on the decision.
And they held a protest meeting at the cheese market in Salisbury on Saturday.
“It went really well,” said Tanya Dunn, whose 16-year-old son Liam has severe autism and has been going to Hillcote for the past nine years. “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have got. It has grown so much just over the few weeks since the closure was announced.
“We are going to keep going. We are not going to give up.”
The group has produced t-shirts and banners, set up an online petition and facebook page and has been out in the city centre collecting more signatures this week. They have also written to local MPs and councillors calling for their support.
Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group have said the number of families using Hillcote has been in decline over recent years, and it is currently used by just eight children and young people. But protestors say this is due to people not being informed that Hillcote available and instead being referred to an alternative facility in Devizes.
A statement from the council and the clinical commissioning group said: “We understand the potential closure of Hillcote will be a concern to families using the service, and we will meet with them to ensure the needs of their children and families continue to be met.”
A consultation on the proposed closure will run until October 21, and people can have their say at wiltshireparentcarercouncil.co.uk.
The Save Hillcote petition can be found at change.org/en-GB/petitions/wiltshire-council-stop-the-closure-of-hillcote?.
Comments are closed on this article.