31 July 2002
The Multiple Sclerosis Society has agreed to allow more time for options to keep open the Orcombeleigh Care Hotel in Exmouth to be considered. The closure of the Kenninghall MS Care Hotel in Worthing has been confirmed for the end of November.
This follows an extraordinary meeting of the Society's board of trustees on 19 July at which proposals to keep Orcombeleigh open were outlined by a volunteers' group led by Michael Willis, the Society's president.
Mike O'Donovan, chief executive of the Society, said, "The board has agreed to ask care providers, including the Devon Community Housing Society, to submit tenders for the purchase of Orcombeleigh, with a continuing service which can offer respite care to people with MS with high dependency needs." The board will make a final decision at its October meeting.
Michael Willis said, "We welcomed the opportunity to discuss our ideas and are pleased to have time to develop them. We are also delighted that the Devon Community Housing Society is among those invited to tender for the purchase and future management of Orcombeleigh."
Mr O'Donovan said tenders would also be invited for Kenninghall. Commenting on the closure decision there, he said, "The board of trustees fully understands the disappointment guests who have stayed there will feel and expresses its sincere appreciation for the dedication shown by staff, volunteers and supporters. It has reaffirmed its commitment to direct operational savings and proceeds from the sale of Kenninghall to the benefit of these most severely affected by MS and the wider MS community."
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