Council confirms closure of Brimsdown day care centre

Rose Taylor Day Centre closure comes amid fears over future of assisted travel for visually impaired, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Rose Taylor Day Centre in Brimsdown
Rose Taylor Day Centre in Brimsdown

A Brimsdown day care centre used by elderly people with visual and mobility impairments faces closure under Enfield Council’s budget cuts.

The council has confirmed that Rose Taylor Day Centre in The Sunny Road, which hosts a range of social clubs offering activities such as fitness, gardening and arts and crafts, will officially close by the end of this month.

Civic centre bosses warned in January that at least one day care centre may have to be closed because of budget cuts. The council cited low attendance figures as the reason for the closure and said all residents who use the centre had been found an alternative day service within the borough.

Georgina Johnson, who is 80 and lives in Shirley Grove, branded the decision a “disgrace”. “We live on our own,” she said. “The only thing we have got for a bit of interaction is our club. They [the council] are just pushing us to one side. They are not there for us.”

Georgina said she had been visually impaired since 2004. “I had a husband then,” she added. “He passed away in 2020 and I’m finding things difficult. Without my club, I’ve got nothing.”

The day centre has been running for more than 40 years and hosts several long-running clubs, Georgina said, adding that some residents may find other venues harder to reach.

“We are all 70 or over, and to take that away we have got nothing,” Georgina said. “Who do we talk to during the day?”

Assisted transport provided by Enfield Council
Assisted transport is currently provided by Enfield Council for people travelling to day care centres

Residents have also raised concerns over the future of assisted transport to and from day centres. The civic centre says it will continue to provide transport for visual impairment groups but that residents will be assessed for “personal budgets”, meaning they may have to pay towards costs.

This story is published by Enfield Dispatch, Enfield's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

Georgina said the council had not been clear whether the transport would be cut entirely or whether residents would be asked to pay towards it. At one point, she said she had been told there would be “no transport at all” and people who use the club would have to “get a cab”.

“We can’t afford cabs going backwards and forwards.” she said, also raising safety concerns over travelling home during the evenings.

Georgina added that many pensioners would struggle to afford any extra costs. “We [currently] have a driver and an escort to help us on and off the bus,” she explained. “They take us there [to the club] and bring us back.

“We have got nobody else to pay for the transport for us. We are not made of money, we are pensioners.”

A council spokesperson said: “The decision to close Rose Taylor Day Centre was taken because the number of people attending the centre was low, even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Staff, people who use the service and their families were consulted throughout this process.

“We are pleased to confirm that all users of this centre have been found a day service within the borough and there was capacity for everyone to have a choice of location and service. This will enable the council to make better use of the resources available to help more people lead independent and fulfilled lives.

“The official closure of the day centre is 31st March 2023, however residents have already been transferring to new day services and we anticipate all residents will have moved by 11th March.

“Separately, the council is continuing to provide transport for the visual impairment groups and will work with them to better assess their eligibility for a personal budget to support their needs into the future. Until assessments have been completed for all 40 users, there will be no change in the transport provision provided for by the council.”

A petition calling on the council to continue funding transport for visually impaired people has so far been signed by more than 700 people.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.  

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or yearly 

More Information about donations