VULNERABLE care home residents say they are facing a microwave meal for Christmas dinner for the second year in a row after they were told their cafe would not be reopening.

Mayott House in Abingdon closed its cafe 15 months ago and residents were hoping it would return so they could enjoy a meal together on Christmas Day.

But all residents received a letter this week breaking the news that the café would be closed for good because it is ‘not financially viable’.

Fiona MacKay-Perkins, whose 87-year-old mother Violet is a resident in the ‘independent living’ home which has 40 flats, said the move has left families ‘furious and bewildered’.

Both older people and those with disabilities and learning difficulties live at the home and Mrs MacKay-Perkins said the café was a 'life line’ for many residents who are housebound.

She added: “It was the only place where people could get together and since it closed lots of people have just stayed in their rooms.

“The flats have kitchens but many don’t know how to cook so rely on microwaves.

“The cafe provided the only nutritious meal they would get in a day.

“We’ve been told it’s not financially valuable but that feels a bit heartless.

“It brought so much more to the home than money, it was vital for the mental health of the residents.”

Dorothy Trop, 80, first moved into Mayott House in 2013.

She said that, like her, many residents, had chosen to move in specifically because it had a communal space.

She added: “It gave us the chance to live independently but also meet together.

“There was a great community spirit and we miss it a lot.

“Ever since it closed you hardly see anyone at all.”

Mayott House is owned by housing association BPHA and managed by The Orders of St John Care Trust.

Julie Wittich, the director of service delivery at BPHA, defended the café closure saying it was ‘underused’ and that the majority of residents were not in favour of bringing it back.

She said: “We fully understand the concerns of residents regarding the provision of an on-site restaurant at Mayott House.

“The existing restaurant was underused, with many residents preferring to use the kitchen facilities within their own apartments, and therefore it was not financially viable to continue with the existing supplier.

“Consultation with residents found that the majority were not in favour of bringing in a new catering supplier.

“A number of residents have since indicated that they may be interested in a direct meal delivery service and...we have arranged for an external contractor to come in to Mayott House in the New Year to talk to residents about their services.”