Can you imagine being over 90, being blind, and having to choose a new home and to move away from your familiar friends, carers, and community?
Pocklington Trust, founded 55 years ago to provide residential care and other facilities for the blind, has announced the closure of Pocklington House in Northwood. Citing problems with the 50-year old building, it has given 20 very elderly frail residents three months’ notice and has broken up the community of care at Pocklington House.
The Trust has reneged on the intentions of its founder Thomas Pocklington. It is abandoning people who entered Pocklington House for its purpose-built blind-friendly environment. It is dropping the care of these elderly blind people who believed that they would live out their lives there.
The closure of Pocklington House was reported on BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Touch’ programme. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s0df6
Some reactions to the broadcast are
‘How extraordinary that the Board should feel the only way to solve the problem of what to do with these frail elderly residents is to get rid of them – pass the buck to someone else’
‘How awful for our elderly folk with severe disability who have been through so much in their lives and who are in the winter of their years to be home hunting. It is an absolute disgrace!’
‘Listening to his excuses (Peter Corbett, chief executive of Pocklington Trust, explained the Trust’s view in the broadcast), none of them make sense. In fact, he more or less says that he doesn’t care about the load of old and frail people’
We ask Pocklington Trust
To reverse the closure decision announced on 22 March 2013 with three-months’ notice to the residents.
To reconsider its decision in the light of its responsibilities expressed in its Charity Commission documentation in 2012 – ‘helping people with sight loss to get and keep a home that meets their needs’.
To respect the Charity Commission’s instruction that charities must not cause ‘serious harm to beneficiaries and, in particular, vulnerable beneficiaries’.
To start planning for the future needs of all groups of the elderly blind, including those in need of full residential care in the London region and in Hertfordshire, in accord with its mission and in a spirit of inclusion and consultation of the elderly.