Donna Claire respite home in Seaburn under threat again

A respite care home in Sunderland which was saved from closure two years ago is again under threat.

The Donna Claire Venture in Seaburn is used by severely disabled people and is partly funded by their local councils.

Now facing budget cuts, Durham County Council is urging some families to use local authority facilities instead.

Donna Claire's co-founder, Geraldine Plunkett, said: "They don't want to take money out of their pot and put it into another."

She said families cannot be forced to move but, if enough felt they had to, the home would not survive.

Durham County Council says it is currently reviewing respite care to ensure everyone gets the best possible service.

However, it says it also needs to consider value for money and, if there are comparable services closer to people's homes, it is asking they use those regardless of whether they are council-run or independent.

A previous threat of closure to the Donna Claire Venture in 2008 was averted after an appeal for funds raised more than the £100,000 needed.

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