Carers face cuts

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DEVOTED George Connor has spent the last 13 years caring for his “precious” wife around the clock in their Rugby home.

George, and his wife Doreene, who has Alzheimer’s, have just one hour of help a day from Crossroads and cope for the rest of the time on their own.

As well as supporting George and Doreen, the charity also assists many others with care across the town but the amount of hours it provides could be at risk following the announcement from Rugby Borough Council (RBC) that it is slashing its funding.

This year RBC’s funding for Crossroads has been cut in half from £10,000 and in 2012/13 the charity, which was set up in Rugby 30 years ago, will get nothing.

George, 81, of Fawsley Leys, said: “Crossroads does a marvellous job. I could not exist without the help. I don’t know what I would do without them.”

Doreene was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 13 years ago and for many years George coped on his own looking after her. George has learnt how to take care of his wife and looks after her around the clock.

They have had assistance from Crossroads for the last seven years.

George said: “She has to be fed now which is time consuming. I do everything for her.

“That’s my job, no one else is going to do it. Doreene lives her life 24 hours a day, seven days a week in her room in our house.”

George, who has been married to Doreene for 58 years, said the last few years have been a “nightmare”, adding: “I could have put her in a home but I spoke with our family, who are very supportive, and we decided we wanted to keep her at home. She’s very precious to us.”

Penny Collard, chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Crossroads, said she was “very disappointed” with the council’s decision.

The funding reduction this year and total budget loss the year after will mean the number of free respite care hours will have to be reduced.

Mrs Collard said: “We will do out best to try and maintain services but we have to be realistic. We understand that cuts have to be made but we are very disappointed that it will be carers that miss out.”

RBC’s Cabinet also decided on Monday that funding for Victim Support in Rugby and the Warwickshire Race Equality Partnership (WREP) will be reduced this year and totally cut next year.

However the Rugby Credit Union will received an increased budget from £7,500 to £15,000 for the next two years in recognition of the financial pressures that people are facing.

Other grants for voluntary sector groups will remain roughly the same, while Newbold Community Organisation will get £5,500 worth of funding for the first time.

Cllr Leigh Hunt said: “I do recognise that Crossroads, Victim Support and WREP do a tremendous job in the borough. We will be working with these organisations to help them to adjust to the loss of our grant.”