Saturday 16 October 2021, 2.00-5.00pm.
Public meeting at Barnstaple Library, Top Floor.
SOHS is deeply concerned by the proposals to possibly close the Link centres which provide support during drop in sessions, as group activities in the community or as outreach support in people’s own homes and community, for adults with mental health needs. There are Link Centres in Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe and Holsworthy. They have been helping those with mental health problems in North Devon and Torridge for several years. The official message is that the proposal for permanent closure (the centres have been temporarily closed for several months due to covid19 ) is not a money-saving exercise but an attempt to offer the best service available to those who need it.
Whatever the truth of the matter, it is vital that the Link Centres remain open, as physical spaces where people can go to get community support, meet others and get help, not through a digital app, a phone call or Zoom meeting but in person, face to face.
There is a fundamental need for such facilities, isolation has had a huge impact during the pandemic. Link Centres provided 270 service users with support prior to the pandemic. It is not clear, apart from financial savings, why this is proposed now. A 4-week consultation period commenced on 23 September. Devon County and North Devon District Councillors have challenged proposals but it is unclear whether or not DCC Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee has been consulted.