Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) has today (Wednesday, August 7) confirmed the permanent closure of the Isabel Blackman Centre in St Leonards.
The centre, which has been run by the charity for 16 years, was temporarily closed earlier in the year due to health and safety concerns with the building.
There has been a period of consultation with staff, volunteers and centre members, during which time the local community has come forward with generous offers of financial support to cover the essential building maintenance work, but this funding would not be sufficient to cover the costs of keeping the centre open in the long term.
Rebecca Kennelly, director of volunteering for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “It is with great sadness that we have taken the decision to close the Isabel Blackman Centre permanently.
“This has been a very difficult decision, one that we understand will be upsetting for the local community, but sadly, like many other charities we have been facing significant financial challenges, and are unable to cover the ongoing costs of running the centre.
“The wellbeing of older people in St Leonards and Hastings is very important to us, and we will be continuing to run alternative activities and services for older people in the local community. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and volunteers for everything they have done over the last 16 years to make the centre a success.”