Plea to Queen over Leeds care home

LETTER TO QUEEN: Mildred Townend, 89, Renee Lunn, 84, Sandra Brown (daughter-in-law), Elsie Brown, 89, and daughter Maureen Tarbuck. Front, Marie Stout with mum Lela Grainger, 96. PIC: James Hardisty

LETTER TO QUEEN: Mildred Townend, 89, Renee Lunn, 84, Sandra Brown (daughter-in-law), Elsie Brown, 89, and daughter Maureen Tarbuck. Front, Marie Stout with mum Lela Grainger, 96. PIC: James Hardisty

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Four proud residents have sent a desperate plea to the Queen to save their threatened Leeds care home.

Lela Grainger, 96, Elsie Brown, 89, Renee Lunn, 84, and Mildred Townend, 89, have all sent hand-written letters to Her Majesty asking for help against the proposed closure of their Rothwell home.

Dolphin Manor, in Stone Brig Lane, is one of six care homes and three day centres in Leeds threatened with closure and it has been home to the ladies for a number of years.

Maureen Tarbuck, who is Elsie’s daughter, said: “They are frightened and they are great ages, these people.

“A lady of 96 has instigated writing to the Queen because they’re just driven with desperation for losing their home.”

Lela was born in 1914, surviving two world wars, before working locally as a preacher for 70 years.

She said: “I think it is a good place and we’re all in need of somewhere to live. Here they are excellent with us.

“The Queen has a very difficult job to keep things going, she has done wonderfully well.”

Aiming to somehow make Leeds City Council reconsider their proposals to close facilities across Leeds, Renee said in her letter: “Please, please we need our home for peace of mind to live whatever time we have left.”

The friends have had strong support from family members.

Elsie’s granddaughter Amanda Downie, 42, has already sent a letter appealing for help to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Dolphin Manor is a 22-year-old purpose-built care home, that is home to 28 residents.

Elsie, who has lived in Rothwell her entire life, said: “We are appealing to everyone to try and stop them doing this.”

And Mildred added: “They are not listening to us, we are just one of many.”

The council carried out a review of its 19 residential care homes and 16 day centres for the elderly earlier this year.

Dolphin Manor is one of nine facilities over which a decision is expected to be made when the issue goes to the council’s executive board in the autumn.

A council spokeswoman said: “It is not an option for us to do nothing. As a result of government cuts to our budget we simply do not have the money to ensure all our homes meet improving standards.

“I would also like to stress that nobody will be made homeless. We are committed to the ongoing care of our customers and will support anybody that has to move into a different home to make sure that they continue to receive the best possible care.”

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