Campaigners vow to fight sale of Oaklands Leonard Cheshire home in Garstang
Shocked residents and staff at Oaklands, Garstang's Leonard Cheshire home, have been told the property is up for sale.
Now residents and their families are mounting a campaign in a bid to get the charity to think again.
The home on Dimples Lane is one of 17 which the charity wants to sell to enable it “to reach significantly more disabled people”.
Following the shock announcement a petition has been set up on the 38 degrees website and campaigners plan to set up a protest stall in Garstang market in the next few weeks.
The home, which has a CQC (Care Quality Commission) rating of “Outstanding” is home to 29 residents and also offers a respite place. .
Leonard Cheshire has offered reassurance that the property will remain as a care home. But petitioners have declared: “We absolutely do not want to be sold to a company that will give us an uncertain future.”
Resident David Hoose has called Oaklands home for 35 years - longer than any other resident - and is dismayed. He is tetraplegic following a swimming pool accident and said: “I think it’s disgusting. Everybody should have been consulted. I have had no consultation from head office. I would like to know what’s actually going on.”
Billie Weld-Blundell of Chipping, said the home had offered her husband George exceptional care following a bicycle accident five years ago.
Billie said: “Obviously the residents themselves don’t have a very loud voice. They really are the most vulnerable disabled.”
She added the home offered much valued support for younger disabled people and stressed: "Care in the community definitely is not for everybody.”
Billie added: “The home made a profit of over Â£300,000 for Leonard Cheshire last year."
A spokesperson for Leonard Cheshire said:“We know this is a difficult and worrying time for many, including the residents and their families, and we will be supporting them throughout this process. The continuity and quality of support, and the welfare of all residents is our top priority during this period as we look to secure a new provider.
“A small minority of our properties are not in the right places with easy access to community amenities and with scope to grow. Other providers are better placed to make long-term investment in these services.”
The charity added: “In 2018 all charities must continue to challenge themselves to make a bigger difference. Leonard Cheshire has set out to reach significantly more disabled people. To make this ambition a reality we have had to make some difficult decisions about some of our services.
“There is huge unmet need across the country in the support that is available to enable disabled people to live as independently as possible, whatever their ability. Leonard Cheshire must be at the heart of building a more inclusive society. All funds raised from this sale will be invested in the provision of UK community, residential and outreach services.”
• Oaklands has been open for more than 50 years as a Leonard Cheshire home.