A CAMPAIGN has been launched to try to save a day centre for people with dementia.

Unions have got involved with the planned closure of Mundy House Day Care, in Church Road, Basildon, and will now lobby councillors to rally against the closure.

The centre cares for people mainly suffering from dementia, who enjoy a range of activities and get specialist help. The closure will unsettle them and also leave 12 employees redundant.

The GMB union, which represents the staff, is planning on sending out leaflets to neighbours, asking for signatures of support.

Larchwood, the firm which runs the home, has said it will close on March 28, but furious relatives have said they were not told about the closure – and instead heard about it through the Echo.

Centre manager Elaine Cooper, said: “The residents have not had a choice in all of this. It’s been done with no dignity.

“Most of the users of the centre have dementia, so we can’t even tell them what is happening.

“We provide entertainment for them, to help stop their world from closing in.

“I don’t think there is a service like this elsewhere in Basildon.”

Larchwood claims all relatives of the centre’s users, of which there are about 60, are being told where alternative services can be found.

A relative, who has a motherin- law who visits the centre, said: “We have still never received a letter to this day. We had to read the story on the Echo’s website.

“It gives my mother a lot of stimulation because she could meet people and have lunch with them. It was very secure and she was happy going there.”

The union has also instructed lawyers to look at whether there is a legal case to be made against how the home has been shut down.

Michelle Bacon, from the union, said: “Some of the people who use the home are some of the most vulnerable. The firm has not consulted with any families.”

Larchwood, which is part of the Orchard group, took over the home and day care centre from previous provider, Adiemus Care, at the end of last year.

The firm has said the day centre is not making any money.

Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for John Baron’s Billericay and Basildon seat, Gavin Callaghan, backed the campaign, and said: “There has been no risk assessment carried out.

They have not looked at the basics.”