A USER with learning disabilities was left in limbo with reduced support after a much-loved day centre near Didcot shut during lockdown.

When the Home Farm Trust revealed plans to shut down its Milton Heights facility by the end of May, many families feared that more than 100 people depending on its services would be abandoned.

Oxfordshire County Council has been finding alternative facilities for most residents of the hub and, once it is safe to do so, families will be supported through the move.

But accommodating for day centre users has been difficult during this transitional period.

James Partridge, who has Down's syndrome, has been visiting the facility three times a week for the last ten years to improve his social skills.

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The 34-year-old also receives one-to-one support by carers for seven hours a week in his home in Abingdon that he shares with two other people.

His mother Elizabeth explained her son is very independent but he still needs help when cooking, running baths and other daily activities.

Since the closure of the Milton Heights facility no alternative provision for the lost services has been offered to Mr Partridge.

Social services have now decided that the three days are not going to be replaced.

The one-to-one support he has been receiving at his Abingdon home has also been cut from seven to six hours.

Ms Partridge, who has been in contact with Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran about the problem, said: "James' needs have not changed and he needs the stimulus that day service provision gives him.

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"It only makes sense to increase his one-to-one services if he can no longer use the Milton Heights day centre."

The 60-year-old mother also questioned whether this is 'just another cost cutting exercise making the lives of vulnerable people even more difficult'.

While Oxfordshire County Council was not able to comment on individual cases, a spokesperson said that 'everyone impacted by the closure has had their support needs reviewed in line with legal responsibilities'.

They added: "We will continue to work alongside families during this transitional period which we appreciate is a difficult time for many."

In February, HFT blamed the closure on nationwide underfunding of social care.