Abury House closure will be a ‘tragedy’ for young mentally ill residents, says mother

Abury House, which provides sheltered accomodation for young people with mental problems, is being s

Abury House, which provides sheltered accomodation for young people with mental problems, is being shut down by the council. - Credit: Archant

The closure of a Newbury Park home for young people with mental illnesses will be a “tragedy of massive proportions”, according to the mother of a mentally ill man.

Abury House, in Aldborough Road North, has nine purpose-built supported flats where residents live for up to two years to help them become more independent.

But it is being shut down by Redbridge Council in the summer.

Annina Sproit, of Blenheim Avenue, said her son lived in similar accommodation for three years after coming out of Goodmayes Hospital and now lives almost independently.

She said: “There are staff there to give medication, keep and eye on you, make sure you look after yourself and help you start self medication as well as encouraging you to prepare your own meals, clean your room and do your own washing.

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“I can’t imagine what there can be other than something like that if people need that kind of 24-hour care.”

Ron Jeffries, who lives in the same road as Abury House, said the people who live there meet local residents and get involved with the community.

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He added: “I’ve known many young people who have been in there - a lot come to my church.

“It’s been successful in so many places.

“A lot of these youngsters will finish up homeless and on the streets, I’m convinced of that.”

A council spokesman said the residents being moved have “a number of options”, including supported living schemes run by registered landlords.

She added: “The current residents at Abury House are at various stages in the process and will receive support with finding alternative accommodation and any ongoing packages of care needed.”

Abury House was also threatened with closure in 2010 but the council scrapped the plans in the face of petitions and protests against the move.

The building could be sold by the council and 10 staff members will be made redundant.

The closure is part of plans to cut spending on adult social services by more than £1.8million over the next three years.

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