Care home uncertainty sparks fears for long-serving Leeds mobility charity

Dolphin Manor care home in Rothwell. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Dolphin Manor care home in Rothwell. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
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A community charity offering vulnerable people a route out of isolation is in “limbo” amid council uncertainty over its purpose-built home.

For Disability Mobility (FDM) offers a subsidised door-to-door minibus service to 64 groups of people from sheltered housing, residential homes and communities across south Leeds as well as a social club to 400 members.

Mike Ball, right, and Ron Frost of For Disability Mobility which is based at the Dolphin Manor care home in Rothwell. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.

Mike Ball, right, and Ron Frost of For Disability Mobility which is based at the Dolphin Manor care home in Rothwell. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.

But its office and garage on council-owned land next to the closure-threatened Dolphin Manor care home, in Rothwell, face an uncertain future after plans for a community takeover of the home fell through in February.

FDM founder Ron Frost claims the charity is still no closer to learning what the future holds – making it harder to secure grants and support.

“We need a decision and a deadline. We apply for funding and how can we turn around and say, ‘yes we have definitely got a future?’,” he said.

“If no decision has been taken on Dolphin Manor, why are the residents moving out?

He added: “This has been going on for years – a lot of toing and froing from the council.

“They said they value the service we give the community and we will be relocated but we are still in limbo.”

He said the charity, which recently acquired a second minibus through a Government grant, is key to meeting goals around reducing isolation in south Leeds.

But fears over whether it will be helped to find a new home if Dolphin Manor closes loom over a charity which has been running for 19 years.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said that it is “actively looking for a suitable site for the charity to re-establish a base, if this is required”.

Stating that FDM will be part of future discussions, she added: “No decision has been made as to the future proposed plans for care provision in Rothwell, including the future of Dolphin Manor.”

For further information visit fdmbus.org.uk.

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