Petition is launched to save service for brain injury patients

CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition urging the council to stop the closure of a service for brain injury patients.

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A petition to save the brain injury service has been launched
A petition to save the brain injury service has been launched

As reported in the Even-ing Times, the Momentum Skills Pathways and Fresh Start programmes which help people who have suffered strokes, haemorr-hages and brain trauma, are due to shut next month after Glasgow City Council withdrew more than £200,000 of funding.

The service is the only vocational rehabilitation centre of its kind in the city, and has helped hundreds of people return to normal life.

Susan Lindsay, the sister of service user James Gow, has now launched an online petition in a bid to make the council rethink its plans.

So far, 203 people have signed it and Susan hopes more city residents will back the campaign.

Susan, 37, from Maryhill, said: "They can't just take funding away that could essentially harm the members, lifestyle-wise and welfare-wise.

"They need to see that it was a mistake and this service needs to continue.

"I know the hardship that my brother went through.

"Seeing him originally struck down and what he had to go through, the months he was at hospital - it almost destroyed him.

"Since becoming a member of the group he has flourished and the confidence that it gave him, it's been a 100% change.

"To have the support taken away, it's almost like asking someone who smokes 100 a day to stop straight away."

James, 40, from Maryhill, said: "I wouldn't be the same person without it."

Pamela Smith, from Glasgow, wrote on the petition: "It is vital that these programmes remain open.

"I know a few of the people from Pathways and I have seen first-hand how much it has helped them.

"Glasgow City Council should be ashamed."

Christopher Keggan wrote: "My nephew got a lot of help from this unit. I am appalled that it would be included for closure - a coward's approach to targeting cuts."

The closure is part of the ongoing city-wide cuts to Social Work Services and is one of dozens which have been reduced or axed in the last five years.

Six members of staff will be made redundant when the centre shuts its doors next month.

The people who use the programmes will have to use other non-vocational facilities, or none at all.

The council says it is closing the service because has not been successful in getting the service users into "unsupported employment".

A council spokesman said: "Issues surrounding the Momentum skills programme were discussed by the council's executive committee and a decision was taken.

"The council did not find the outcomes from these programmes to be satis-factory and felt these services could be more effectively delivered elsewhere.

"People were referred to these services from the NHS but there are already range of employability services within the NHS which will deliver more positive outcomes."

To sign the petition visit http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/george-black-stop-the-closure-of-a-vital-rehabilitation-programme-for-people-with-brain-injuries

hannah.rodger@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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