A Pembrokeshire day care centre especially equipped for people, and those with dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's is lying empty, while its founders say elderly people are waiting months for council run services.

Churchills Day Centre on Bush Street, Pembroke Dock, was set up by Savannah Duane after her elderly mother, who had been diagnosed with vascular dementia and Parkinson's, was told she would have to wait for more than six months for a space at a council-run centre with more time again needed for paperwork.

“We didn’t think this was acceptable, so did our research saw a need and decided to open one ourselves,” she said.

Savannah and her business partner Tina Guy, who had lost her mum to dementia, used their savings, pensions and donations of goods from the local community to set up the centre.

“We have received no funding or financial help to set up the business, as everything was long winded or we didn’t qualify,” said Savannah.

After months of hard work, the centre was established. Although Savannah’s mum and dad have visited it, sadly her mother’s condition was too advanced for her to be able to use it.

The centre can provide 65 places for sufferers of dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and disabilities and will provide 14 full time jobs and four part time jobs for local people.

Western Telegraph: The centre has a subsidised café.

“Fred Hatton in the job centre has been a really great contact and helped, along with the lovely staff at Futureworks who have been assisting people with training and support to start work with us,” said Savannah.

It offers Monday to Friday day centre provision with arts crafts, music, exercise, games, films, clay craft, singing, bingo, board games and a subsidised café and manicures.

It is set in a bright welcoming environment with books, puzzles and equipment readily available.

Of equal importance, the centre will provide families caring for elderly relatives with some much-needed respite.

Despite all of this, the centre remains empty, and the staff are still waiting to begin their employment.

Savannah thinks this is due to long delays in getting assessed, diagnosed and accessing financial help.

“For some people, by the time they get to this point, like my mum, they have passed the stage where it [the centre] would have been beneficial for them,” she said. “You have so many different departments, people don’t know where to start and people don’t know they can attend a private centre and that they could be fully funded.”

She added that there were also issues with disabled transport in Pembroke Dock.

“We have an empty centre that can offer a break for loved ones and social interaction and activities for many sufferers, something is going very wrong,” she said.

“Our elderly are losing valuable time in a very time- sensitive situation, not being able to make the most of this time before they advance to a stage where taking part is sadly not an option for many,” she said.

Western Telegraph:

She added that attendance at the centre could be fully funded through Pembrokeshire County County’s Day Opportunities project and that this can be booked via day opportunities with the council online or by speaking to the day opportunities team.

GPs, social and support workers can refer people to the centre or carers, or family members can book directly by ringing 0748 4600 450 or emailing customerservice@churchillsdaycentre.co.uk .

“We could really do with the community’s support and people spreading the word that we are here,” said Savannah.

“We do not want to let the community lose this resource that we worked so hard to provide and that so many families could be using.”