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Carers' fury over holiday axe

PUBLISHED: 17:22 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:37 25 August 2010

CARERS who use an organisation providing services for their loved ones who have special needs are furious that an annual holiday service is to be scrapped.

CARERS who use an organisation providing services for their loved ones who have special needs are furious that an annual holiday service is to be scrapped.

Non profit-making company MCCH, which Bexley council hires to provide services to people with a learning disability, is changing the ways users go on holiday.

They have told carers they are scrapping its annual week-long trip to the Isle of Wight and has invited private companies into day centres to advertise their holidays.

Father-of-two John Stanton, 71, said his son Mark, 29, who uses the Carlton Centre in Carlton Road, Sidcup, four times a week, said this will mean his son will miss going away with friends and carers.

The retired social worker said: "The important thing is going away with people he knows and the security of it being with members of staff he knows.

"He thoroughly enjoys it."

Mr Stanton said it is wrong carers have not been invited to take part in the internal working group at MCCH which is reviewing their holiday plans.

Retired worker for MCCH Chris Dubery, 66, from New Ash Green said: "A holiday with friends is a normal activity for most of us and it will be denied to those in learning disability services.

"Now, [MCCH] say they cannot afford for staff to facilitate holidays for groups of friends. The plan is for members to go away with private holiday companies.

"This means tremendous additional expense for clients."

A spokesperson for MCCH said: "We do not expect our service users to go on holiday with an adult they do not know and staff who are familiar to our service users support our holidays.

"We support all our service users to access an annual holiday and we focus on providing a range of choices that are affordable and accessible for each individual."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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