Fight to save Fenland care home gathers pace as petition gains 1,000 signatures

THE fight to save a Fenland care home is gathering pace after around 1,000 people signed a petition demanding that Kingswood Park remains open.

Shocked relatives of residents at the March care home were informed less than a fortnight ago that Kingswood Park will close later this year.

Forty elderly people are set to lose their home when the Methodist Housing Association (MHA), and Sanctuary Group, who own the property, pull the plug on the building.

Adam Triggs, standing for Fenland District Council for the first time next month in March West, as a Conservative candidate, has vowed to support concerned relatives in their attempts to save the home.

Mr Triggs said: “This should have been discussed a year ago to give residents the opportunity to start thinking about their plans.

“To only give six-months notice is wrong. We want to keep banging the drum and letting the two companies know that there is community support behind saving Kingswood Park.

“At this stage of their lives the residents do not need this upheaval and worry. The decision to close the home will affect hundreds of people across March and Fenland.

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“I hope MHA and Sanctuary Group can look beyond the commercial aspect of it all and find some sort of common ground to do what’s right.”

The MHA has claimed that residents can switch to “nearby” homes in Bottisham and Sawston - both more than 30 miles away and insist the Kingswood Road building has become “dated”.

A spokesman for Sanctuary Group said: “We understand this is a difficult and unsettling time for everyone involved and are doing everything we can to offer our support during the consultation process which MHA is currently undertaking.

“As owner of the site and a charitable organisation we are confident that, should the consultation result in closure, we will come up with a way forward that is to the benefit of the local community.”

Fenland District Councillors Kit Owen, portfolio holder for Shaping Fenland, and Jan French have both pledged their support to save the care home. However, they both insist that Cambridgeshire County Council should not receive any blame over the home’s imminent closure.

Jo Marsters, who visits her 92-year-old mum Lucy Williamson at the home around three times a week, says she will see her considerably less if Kingswood Park is closed.

She said: “It might not have en-suites and such but it’s clean, tidy and keeps people close to their families.

“The care at Kingswood Park is fantastic. It is home for people like my mum who are now going to be forced out of it. It’s as if people lose their human rights when they get to a certain age.”

Bill Green said his 84-year-old wife Connie had become “a different woman” since she moved to Kingswood Park three years ago. He also praised the home’s “marvellous” staff, whose jobs are now also under threat as a result of its imminent closure.

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