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Petition launched to save the Marcus Garvey Day Centre

PICTURED: Marcus Garvey

COMMUNITY CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition to fight what they claim to be the closure of the Marcus Garvey Day Centre in Nottingham.

The venue in Lenton, Nottingham, was built in 1931. It was named after the civil rights icon and has served the community for over 30 years.

According to the petition, which has received close to 5,000 signatures, the Marcus Garvey Day Centre was opened “as a response to the number of African Caribbean elders in Nottingham who often felt isolated at home, sometimes with no relatives and who had no form of social enjoyment.

“The Day Centre provides culturally specific provision to meet the social, health and recreational needs of African Caribbean elders- most of the users of the Centre are between 70 – 91”.

The campaigners claim that there was “zero consultation” with the community about the move of the day service.

Tyron Browne, a member of the Marcus Garvey Day Centre Campaign Group said: “The council made the decision without any form of consultation. When we found out this decision to close the centre - and we call it a closure because transferring the elderly to a new location closes the day centre full stop - we said this is not good enough. Councillor Webster does not understand the needs of our community.”

Following a public meeting, there has been significant community interest in the future of the day centre, with many claiming that moving the service would result in an inevitable closure.

However, a spokesperson for Nottingham City Council has stated that there are “absolutely no plans to close The Marcus Garvey Day Centre” and stated there is only a proposal at this stage to move the day service which has yet to be finalised.

“The day service run by the city council is for elderly members of the local Afro Caribbean community and there are only around 7-8 people attending that service at the moment and the council is proposing to move it from the Marcus Garvey Centre into a modern state-of-the-art building.”

While they admit that the move is partially inspired by budget cuts, they hope that the service can gain popularity again. “By moving it to a more modern building with better facilities, maybe more people will come along and the day service will increase in size.”

“I think there is perhaps some confusion here from the people who’ve raised the petition, but there is no proposal to remove the centre.”

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottingham City Council, added that a consultation will take place in May but “nothing will change until we have considered the views of people who use the service and the wider community.”

Despite the Council’s statement, The campaign group are adamant that the movement of the day service will result in its downfall.

“These are people are from the Windrush generation and we are concerned about our elders,” said Browne.

To sign the petition, click here.

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