Protests over care change

Cancer sufferer Helen Harber at home in Werrington with her son Luke (15), husband Stephen and  Mum Shirley EMN-170724-175059009
Cancer sufferer Helen Harber at home in Werrington with her son Luke (15), husband Stephen and Mum Shirley EMN-170724-175059009

Protesters are to voice their anger at the removal of overnight respite care from a children’s home in Peterborough.

The Manor in Derby Drive, Dogsthorpe, will end the respite service for young people with disabilities following a vote by city councillors.

The move was voted through by the Conservatives despite concerns at the proposals, although no opposition party put forward an amendment to reverse the cut. The council has insisted children who need overnight care will be able to use Cherry Lodge in Orton Goldhay instead, and that foster care, after school clubs and outreach services will also be available. But Helen Harber from Werrington, whose son Luke (15) has Down’s syndrome and used to stay overnight at The Manor every other weekend, is concerned at the loss of respite care. Helen (52) who has had cancer six times said: “I want public awareness because a lot of people do not understand what The Manor is about unless you have children or relatives with special needs. The council have not really thought it through. It’s very difficult to put people into Cherry Lodge because they are different type of children.

“Families are going to have meltdowns and even split up because they can’t cope.”

A council spokesman said new fully qualified foster carers will be available to help children who previously attended The Manor, and each family will have a dedicated social worker.

The protest will be outside the WH Smith shop in Bridge Street on Wednesday from 1pm.