CONCERNS have been raised for the future of a Evesham centre that for more than three decades has provided vital support to people who have suffered serious brain damage.

But WCG, which owns the Acquired Brain Injury Centre, has moved to stress there are no plans to close the centre, and instead it will be expanded for students to attend more days.

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The fears were raised following reported resignations and changes to staff salary’s at the centre.

The Davies Road-based centre supports the educational needs of people who have suffered damage to their brain through head injuries and strokes, offering courses including in gardening, photography and cookery.

Hilary Rowlands, who volunteers at the centre, said: “Students should have been celebrating the end of term (in June).

“However students and staff were in tears as many tutors and administrators have tendered their resignations. I was informed tutors have been asked to accept a cut in their salary of a third. Highly qualified tutors have been asked to take on the role of assistants. It leads me to believe that decision have already made to close the ‘ABI’.”

Another user added: “We were angry and upset only being informed two days before end of term leaving us no time to organise a petition.”

The centre is owned by Evesham College, and came under threat of closure in 2010, after the Government cut £200 million from adult learner budgets.

But a spokesperson for WCG, said: “There is no plan to close the ABI Centre based at Evesham College.

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“On the contrary, for the coming academic year, the provision at the ABI Centre is being expanded, so that students can attend for five rather than four days each week.

“Indeed there will be some new courses such as ‘Bake Off’ and ‘Visiting Art’ monthly sessions.

“Additional staff will be recruited to support the continuation and enhancement to the ABI Centre provision.

“Furthermore, the fees paid by the students are being significantly reduced so that it is hoped a greater number of students will be able to access the courses.

“These changes for 2019-20 demonstrate the continuing commitment being made by WCG in supporting the ABI Trust and the students who access this provision.”

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