DAY residents of a Newport care home are “devastated” that they will meet there for the last time on Friday, according to their relatives, as the provision is axed and its elderly clients moved elsewhere.

Hillside Resource Centre hit the headlines last spring when it was revealed Newport City Council aimed to close the Gaer care home, where 24 people live permanently as residents, by 2015/16.

But following meetings with residents and their families, elected members agreed those currently living there would not be forced to move if they do not want to, or until new accommodation to be built nearby is finished.

Closing the five-day-a-week day service at Hillside, which is separate from permanent residential care, has always been part of the council’s budget proposals, said a spokeswoman for Newport council, but did not give a further comment.

Sue Brice told the Argus that her mother Jean Manson, 78, had tried visiting several other care homes around Newport but couldn’t settle before she found solace and friendship at Hillside.

In recent weeks, day attendance has been down to two or three people as they are moved elsewhere in preparation for the service shutting down on Friday, she said, with Mrs Hanson also being offered a place at another centre.

“All the families and the clients are devastated to have to leave,” said Ms Brice, 53, from Malpas, herself a trainee nurse. “It’s so sad, it’s been such a valuable service.”

Mrs Hanson couldn’t settle at other Newport day centres but has been going to Hillside for two years, said her daughter.

“We were promised at a meeting with social services at the end of January that they would keep peer groups together and staff together, but they are not staying with their peer group and it’s the last day on Friday,” she said.

“There is a very strong peer group and staff at Hillside. I am surprised there’s not a leaving party because it’s such a lovely unit.

“The day centre was the hub of it.

“I want to say thank you to the staff. It’s such a shame the peer group has been split up to do this.

“These people aren’t going to see each other.”