Speaking out to save services at a High Peak Charity

Buxton Volunteer Centre, staff and volunteers from the centre and other groups based in the building
Buxton Volunteer Centre, staff and volunteers from the centre and other groups based in the building

Staff and service users have spoken about the ‘heartbreak’ potential cuts to a vital community service could cause them.

The charity, Voluntary and Community Services , VCS, Peaks and Dales, is potentially facing cuts in some areas from Derbyshire County Council, DCC, and the Clinical Commissioning Group, CCG, however, if these were implemented it says the impacts would be huge.

Carole Waters, cares for her husband with special needs and uses the service and after she retired in September she started volunteering as a receptionist at the Buxton branch.

She said: “There is so much help and support here which is extremely important to me and others - I’d be lost without the services.”

Carole has used the home-sitting service as well as the patient transport which she described as ‘fab’.

“Before I took early retirement I wasn’t able to take my husband to all of his appointments and I relied on the VCS to get make sure he got there.

“I volunteer there to give back and I see the wide ranging services they offer from hiring wheelchairs to home maintenance and cuts in any area would affect so many.”

One of the areas which could see its funding reduced is the transport service.

Head of transport Howard Gunn said: “It is heartbreaking to think we may not be able to offer our full service to people and help those who rely on us.

“I had a meeting with the East Midlands Ambulance Trust and all the patients we take to appointments are not included in their patient transport costs and if we lose funding it would not be able to cope.

“We are a preventative service taking some of the pressure off emergency care by making sure people get to their appointments.”

He explained without the service people may miss appointments as they can not get to them and even and if ten per cent of users did not turn it would cost the NHS £81,000.

Gill Geddes, charity CEO, said: “We need to try and keep our funding, we have cut back as much as we can but these services really matter.”

A consultation period with the CCG has now closed and anyone wishing to give their views to the county council must do so by Sunday, July 24 derbyshire.gov.uk/vcs