LETTER:: We lost the fight for respite centre

AS ONE of the former campaigners who tried to stop the closure of The Cherries Respite Centre, I feel I must write in response to your article in the Observer on August 27, namely the planning report which states ‘The NHS has chosen to sell The Cherries and also the neighbouring sites... thus it can be assumed that there is no longer a requirement for the type of facility the NHS previously operated from the premises’.

What rubbish. The need for facilities like The Cherries has always been there, and is still there, the children who used The Cherries haven’t just disappeared, their needs have just been ‘brushed under the carpet’ as yet another place that gave much needed respite to them and their families is sold off.

I’m sad to say that it is always the most vulnerable who seem to lose out nowadays, the ones who can’t fight these closures themselves. And try as we might, we can’t fight the big institutions.

I’m afraid I couldn’t read this without commenting on it, after we fought so long and hard for The Cherries to remain open but we lost.

Diane Malkin

Peppard Road,

Sonning Common,

Reading