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Age Scotland joins campaign to save Milan Day Care Centre

Image by Gordon Terris, Newsquest

15 January 2024

Age Scotland took part in today’s protest at East Dunbartonshire Council HQ in Kirkintilloch to save the Milan Day Care Centre, described as a lifeline for ethnic minority older people, from closure.

Katherine Crawford, chief executive of Scotland’s national charity for older people, joined staff and service users of the Milan Day Care Centre last week to see first-hand how the care delivered supports older people from ethnic minority communities in East Dumbartonshire.

The visit followed a letter sent to the local health and social care partnership before Christmas urging a review of the decision to withdraw funding and close the centre, despite its widespread popularity and the vital role it plays in connecting ethnic minority older people.

Today’s protest, which was attended by Katherine Crawford and Rohini Sharma Joshi, Age Scotland’s diversity and inclusion manager, alongside staff, volunteers and service users, is part of a growing campaign to keep the centre open.

Katherine Crawford, Age Scotland’s chief executive said:

“The Milan Day Care Centre delivers fantastic social care for ethnic minority older people in East Dunbartonshire and the decision by the health and social care partnership to end its funding and see it close will have a devastating effect on its service users today, and for those who could use it in the future. This decision should be reviewed and reversed immediately and put an end to the insecurity and anxiety felt by service users and their families.

“I visited the centre last week and it couldn’t be clearer from speaking with the older people who rely on it for their care needs just how important it is. It delivers vital social care support for people with mobility challenges, living with dementia, culturally appropriate diet and activities, and communication in a number of languages which is so incredibly vital to brain health and reducing isolation. 

“Quite simply, the centre saves lives.

“This centre is a feather in the cap for East Dunbartonshire and should be supported to grow, rather than cut off. The decision flies in the face of the person centred care approach that is the ambition of East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership."