THE mother of a disabled child has been left ‘in the dark’ after a community centre’s respite care contract was not renewed. 

 

Sophia Tattersall, 40, of Church Street in Gawber, launched a petition in May as she felt Max, her ten-year-old disabled son, was not receiving the care he needed during lockdown.

 

Max has epilepsy, homocystinuria, hypomilination, and is partially sighted, and has struggled to come to terms with lockdown measures. 

 

Now, as the summer holidays draw closer, Sophia was hoping to send Max for some respite care at the Priory Centre in Lundwood – but the council have not renewed the Barnardo’s contract, potentially fracturing the relationship between SEND parents and Barnsley Council even further.

 

She said: “The people at Barnardo’s are absolutely amazing, and it’s really helpful that we’re able to drop them off a couple of times a week,” she added.

 

“We were left in the dark about whether this was going to go ahead this summer as we hadn’t heard anything, but we now know that their contract hasn’t been renewed by the council – we feel like we’ve been abandoned.

 

“There’s parents with disabled children that have had this dumped on them – it’s disgraceful.”

 

Coun Margaret Bruff, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, said: “The council, with children and young people’s trust partners, continues to engage daily with parents and carers and does all it can to ensure that the voice of children and families is central to our planning and delivery of services.”