DISABLED workers at Poole’s Remploy factory have clocked off for the last time.

The factory closed its doors for good yesterday lunchtime after a failed last ditch attempt by campaigners to keep it running.

It means 16 disabled and two able-bodied people are now out of work. Remploy worker Lorraine Sheen, among those affected, told the Daily Echo staff were “disgusted, devastated and worried about their futures.”

Lorraine, a senior shop steward at the Alder Hills site, added: “We are all gutted. The atmosphere is terrible. I was an operator here for 20 years, those 20 years have been my life.

“We cannot understand why the government is happy to pay redundancy which could have been used to save the factory. Basically, the government is paying for us all to go on the dole.”

Lorraine, who has taken part in numerous campaigns to save her workplace, said: “For a lot of people here this is their only family. Some of us have been here for more than 35 years.”

Co-worker Carol Watt, from Bournemouth, said the closure was “an awful thing to do to us”.

The 56-year-old, who has learning difficulties and epilepsy, added: “What chance to I have in an outside industry? Everyone here is like family.”

Earlier this year the government decided to close 36 out of 54 Remploy factories.

Giles Verdon, social enterprise manager at the Poole factory, led a bid to turn it into an “incubator hub” for social enterprises.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns, whose constituency includes the site, said he was “very sad”.

“I think Giles Verdon and his team did everything they possibly could but it was clear Remploy had taken the decision that it was going to close and were not going to give the community interest company the time and space to work out a fully developed plan.”