Fears continue over cuts for adults with special needs in West Sussex

FAMILY members whose loved ones receive support from the Apuldram Centre have said there is a severe lack of information about proposed cuts to funding for adults with special needs.

The cuts proposed by West Sussex County Council will affect around 2,000 adults with needs classed as moderate.

Pam Edgington, whose 22-year-old daughter attends day-care services, has been campaigning on behalf of parents, carers and clients.

She said the cuts were short-sighted and flawed, and feared they could have much wider implications for adults with special needs.

Parents and carers say the proposals will make some of the most vulnerable people in society dependent rather independent.

Apuldram Centre manager Jane Kilby said: “There is enormous concern from parents and family members and clients because they feel threatened, they feel vulnerable and they don’t know what’s going to happen in future,

“All the providers are trying to work together on this to reassure people we are doing everything in our power to make these changes not happen.”

Mrs Edgington said places such as the Apuldram Centre near Chichester fulfilled an important role in providing people with opportunities for learning and social interaction.

“It is a huge lifeline. It keeps them occupied and gives them social interaction. Take that away and they will get stuck indoors getting lonely.

“If you take away this support for people, their health and wellbeing is going to decline and you take away their independence and make them dependent.

“What will then happen is the council will have to intervene again, but probably at a much greater level than they did so before – it will actually cost more money.

“It takes people with learning needs a long time to learn the skills of independent living.”