MORE than 80 adults with learning disabilities are “devastated” by the closure of their day services.

Livability has closed its Victoria Horticulture, Stepping Stones and Next Steps 2 day care sites in Bournemouth and Poole.

Alice Miller, whose daughter was at Livability’s Victoria Horticulture in Poole, said: “My daughter and her friends go there and learn all sorts of skills such as gardening, painting, making cards. They sell hanging baskets and plant lots of plants.

“They closed up on March 23, 2020, and since then we have had no calls or letters from them, and many voices of concern have been raised by adults and their carers. We have tried to get in contact with them but haven’t heard anything back.

“In June this year, they just sent out a blanket letter to everyone saying that they were closing.”

In the letter to parents and guardians, Livability said day services would not reopen due to “financial viability”. The charity has said it will have “an even greater responsibility” to manage its finances following the Covid-19 outbreak and it is prioritising its two residential care homes, Livability Marion House and Livability Talbot Manor.

Alice, whose daughter has attended Victoria Horticulture for eight years added: “This is their whole identity. This is where they went to social and be with their friends.

“Their excuse is that it wasn’t financially viable for them. Excuse me but they are a charity, they aren’t supposed to be making a profit. They are supposed to be there to help families in need

“I’m absolutely devastated. In one letter, their whole identity has been smashed.”

Two jobs were affected at Stepping Stones and Victoria Horticulture, but staff were offered alternative roles.

A Livability spokesperson said: “After careful consideration, Livability has made the difficult decision to close our day services in Bournemouth. The services have been closed throughout the pandemic and will not reopen due to financial viability.

“We are currently contacting the families and other appropriate stakeholders in the area. We are working closely with BCP Council to ensure the best resolution for the people we support.”

BCP Council said it was working with those affected and urged people to contact their social worker for more advice.

Those who do not have a named social care worker should call the council’s adult social care contact centre on 01202 123654.