WORRIED parents fear the possible closure of a Kidderminster respite centre for disabled young people will have a devastating effect on their children.

Mums and dads of service users are urging Worcestershire County Council to maintain funding for Ludlow Road Short Breaks Unit and have backed a campaign by Wyre Forest Labour group to keep the facility open.

Last week, The Shuttle reported how the authority had begun a consultation regarding the future of the service with one option being axing the centre.

The council provides £618,000 per year to Worcestershire Health and Care Trust to run it for them.

But the news was met with anger and a petition launched by Labour which has collected more than 6,100 names in a week.

Party members will have a petition stall outside Kidderminster Town Hall on Saturday (January 13) between 10am and midday.

Amanda Danby, whose son Mason attends Ludlow Road, said: “If we lose Ludlow Road I do not have confidence in their alternative provision for our children.

“There will never be another place like it I'm afraid. Not once have I felt that Ludlow Rd isn't the best place for my son Mason. All the staff are professional with their care to all of our children but also make it a home from home, which makes it a very special place indeed.”

Kelly Higgot said: “Taking away Ludlow Road from my daughter Madison will break her heart. It has taken some years for her to establish the trust and comfort of being away from home. The staff go above and beyond for each and every child there.”

Emma Grantham added: “To take away Ludlow Road now from my daughter Millie would be devastating. It has taken her two years to build up the trust she needed, to go and spend time away from home.

“I know that moving her now would mean she would never cope.

“Her needs have changed so much in the past 18 months and the girls at Ludlow Road have done everything they could to make life better for her. We need Ludlow Road, our children need Ludlow Road.”

Clare Neal said: “Ludlow Road is a lifeline to our family! My son Sam receives 24 hour medical care from qualified staff when he stays. Knowing he is safe enables us to recharge our batteries and continue caring.”

Carol and Kevin Paddock, whose son Joshua goes to Ludlow Road, said “We are devastated Worcestershire County Council are even considering the closure of Ludlow Road.

“Our son has formed strong friendships here and the setting is perfect for the nature of these children. The closure of Ludlow Road will have disastrous consequences for us as a family, together with all other current families and future families that will be in need of such a wonderful facility.”

Ben Davies and Vincent O’Callaghan, prospective Labour District Council candidates issued a joint statement: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the parents of children at Ludlow Road. We will fight tooth and nail with them in our efforts to keep this wonderful home open.

“Please join us on Saturday between 10am and 12midday outside Kidderminster Town Hall to express your support for the parents and sign our petition.”

Stephen Brown, also of Wyre Forest Labour added: “It’s quite clear from what the parents are saying just how important Ludlow Road is to them, their children, and families.

"Amanda Danby has been amazing, organising the parents and liaising with Labour activists in order to get parents voices heard, as they don’t want to lose Ludlow Road

“Worcestershire County Council need to listen to the parents and respect their wishes and keep it open. Twenty Three families rely on this home to give them respite.

“It seems apparent that the cost to them, our communities, and extra burdens on the health and care system down the line, if it is closed, will far outweigh the simple financial cost of keeping it open.”