‘It’s been a lifeline and given us our lives back’

Shaun Simpson and  his mother Linda Carmichael
Shaun Simpson and his mother Linda Carmichael
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THE mother of a man who gets help from a centre due to close said she was devastated by the decision.

Shaun Simpson, 24, was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and needs help around the clock.

Since the age of 19, Shaun has had help at learning disability site Tamerine, in Southwick Road, Denmead.

But the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust site is due to close on December 20, as it has been losing about £120,000 to £150,000 each year for the past four years.

In the first quarter of this financial year it is already £28,000 over its budget.

And as it is not a statutory service for the trust to run, 
it is not obliged to keep it going.

Shaun’s mother, Linda Carmichael, 51, of Drayton Lane, Drayton, who works as a shop assistant, said they had been left upset by the decision.

She said: ‘We were devastated when we found out about the closure.

‘It has been a lifeline for me and my husband and has given us our lives back.

‘We’re able to have evenings, weekends and go away on holiday knowing Shaun is safe and being well-looked after.

‘He has 55 days a year and it means we can have some space, as caring for him can be exhausting work.

‘Shaun enjoys it there too and he’s very angry and upset about the change.’

The family is now working with Portsmouth City Council to find alternative help.