IT was a devastating start to the Christmas holidays for employees at a day-care centre that offers a lifeline to adults with physical disabilities across the upper Calder Valley.
All 14 members of staff holding 11 positions at the Calder Valley Club in Burnley Road, Mytholmroyd, have been handed redundancy notices.
Club members come from Todmorden to Mythoomroyd and beyond.
Trustees have reassured clients that a service will continue to exist and the charity itself will not close but the exact details of how it will work are still being ironed out.
Management at the charity, in its 30th year, said that since 2006 their overheads and running costs should have been met by Calderdale Council. But Calderdale insisted it was the charity’s choice to close.
A statement from the club’s trustees said: “Cost-saving suggestions put forward by the council would reduce the quality of service below an acceptable level and not meet our charitable objectives. We feel many of our loyal staff and clients have been let down at very short notice, which saddens us greatly.
“We will need time to adjust. It is the intention of the trustees to explore what will be needed to support vulnerable people in the future and how best it can do this.”
The charity has had to dig into its reserves to keep the club open, according to management. In the last six months, they say that has cost £44,000 alone.
While they can pay their staff their redundancy packages, they have to stop operating in their current form.
The problems came to a head when the groups offering respite day care for adults with physical disabilities – Scope, Calder Valley Club and Heath Stroke Club – were told they would need to re-apply for their council contracts.
A decision about the contract was delayed in April until December.
The charity say they could have survived the uncertainty, if their reserves had remained intact.
The council’s Interim Head of Adult Health and Social Care, Sue Ross, said: “Calder Valley Club does not wish to continue running the service after the end of January. What’s most important for the council now is to ensure that the people affected continue to receive the services they need.”
Calderdale Councillor for Luddenden Foot Christine Bampton-Smith said: “The Calder Valley Club is a valued and much-respected organisation.
“I was distraught to her redundency notices had been issued.
“It is an organisation that Hebden Royd and Calderdale councillors have always supported and I hope that a solution will be found.”