Can you help Save Our Shandford’s community ownership bid?
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A Budleigh Salterton couple are offering people who want to help rescue a doomed care home a chance to be part of its future – should it survive.
Around 120 people turned out to a drop-in event held at the football club to gauge public support for returning the Shandford home - which is set to close at the end of March - to community management.
Now Card Shop Too owners Pat and Will Prew, who have close family connections to the Station Road care home, have opened their doors to those who want to pledge their support but were unable to attend the football club event.
Pat, whose mother and grandmother both lived at Shandford before they died, said: "Shandford was absolutely brilliant.
"My grandmother was happy, my mother was happy and both were very well looked after.
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"I was devastated when I heard Shandford was set to close.
"Shandford does need to stay open. Budleigh is an area where there are a lot of old people and not enough places to look after them."
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Abbeyfield Society announced last month that, following a consultation process, they had decided to close the home due to difficulties in recruitment and the cost of maintaining the building.
A local volunteer group was set up to evaluate the possibility of returning the home to trust management, but they 'reluctantly' deemed it was not viable.
A spokesman for the Abbeyfield Society said the profits from any sale, plus any remaining legacies, will be used on services for the elderly in Budleigh and the surrounding villages.
The newly-formed Save Our Shandford (SOS) group - made up of residents' family members - launched a bid to return Shandford, which was run by trustees until 2012, to community ownership.
Helen Tickle, who is part of that group, said she was delighted with the number of people who went to the drop-in event.
For those who could not make it, they can still pledge their support for SOS by putting their names forward to become 'friends of Shandford' - should it survive.
Eventually those who put their name down will pay £10 per year towards the care home.
Anyone interested can pop into Card Shop Too, in High Street, to register their interest.