Residents bid to take over Sheffield care home set for closure

Gail Wright, Marie Foster and John Greaves who have set up a company to take on Hawkhills Care Home at Stannington Picture Dean Atkins
Gail Wright, Marie Foster and John Greaves who have set up a company to take on Hawkhills Care Home at Stannington Picture Dean Atkins
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Relatives of elderly folk living in a Sheffield care home that is to close have set up a company in a bid to take it over.

The group is desperate to save ‘special’ Hawkhills in Stannington, which Sheffcare is to close in November, blaming falling numbers.

The relatives say they were promised help at a meeting with Sheffcare.

They have also secured £25,000 in pledges and support from hundreds of people but fear they are being ‘set up to fail’ because Sheffcare has already moved residents and equipment out.

Sheffcare, a not-for-profit organisation, will also not provide running cost figures as it is ‘not obliged’ to.

Stannington mum Marie Foster, who works in care, said: “It is possible for us to run a care home but we need them on board, not emptying the home.”

Campaigners have asked for closure to be deferred.

Marie, aged 40, said: “If they could let us know the deficit the home has each month we will see if we can match it to get more time.”

John Greaves, whose 88-year-old dad Jack lives in the home, said they had asked Steve Hustler, chairman of trustees, to meet but he was not available for the next fortnight.

“We need their urgent help to handover,” said the 58-year-old retired property landlord.

“We would love to keep all staff and residents but all they have done is taken many residents to other Sheffcare homes, which helps them.

“It feels like we have been totally set up to fail.”

Campaigners also dispute that the number of residents was decreasing, saying a dementia unit was shut for 10 months last year while work was carried out, which affected figures.

Belinda Black, of Sheffcare, said information was given to relatives on how to set up a charity and who to speak to at home owner Sheffield Council, as well as the Charities Commission.

She said: “We are not obliged to provide sensitive private information about the finances of our individual homes or our residents, staff or issues like terms and conditions.”

She said she would ‘happily’ talk further with them if Sheffield Council granted a lease and chiefs were waiting for further dates when residents can meet Mr Hustler.

Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for care, said the council was ‘very much open’ to discussing a new lease if relatives could register with the Care Quality Commission and it was satisfied the trust was capable of running it.