A vital Glenrothes centre supporting people with a range of disabilities is to close.
News the Forward Centre will shut next month, with services to be transferred to Kirkcaldy, has been met with dismay.
When it was first revealed the facility, a community support service for adults with learning and physical disabilities, sensory impairments or autism, could close around 1,000 people signed a petition calling for it to be saved.
Despite that, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has decided to close it, with services provided instead at St Clair Street in Kirkcaldy.
One user Elsa Gilfillan, 68, said: “There’s nothing wrong with the building, this is all about saving money.”
The changes, she said, are disappointing and inconvenient for many users, some of whom had complex needs.
“People need a place to go where they can meet others – for some it is the only time they will sit down and have a meal together with other people,” she added.
“We are a wee community and it is nice for people to meet their friends in the centre.
“Many cannot get out of their homes often and this is some place to go.
“It is a community hub.”
She said while transport was being sorted to take users to Kirkcaldy, she feared many would not go when the service is no longer “on their doorstep” and would involve longer travel time.
“People are disgusted,” she added.
Fife Health and Social Care Partnership divisional general manager Julie Paterson claimed reshaping adult day services to a more inclusive community-based approach had caused fewer people to use the centres, in favour of community-based activities.
The Forward Centre has the capacity to support 60 people a day but on average has seven users at a time.
Meanwhile St Clair has capacity for 239 but 12 people, on average, use it each day.
Ms Paterson said: “The usage of both buildings has reduced considerably over the years.
“Through extensive consultation with the people who are supported from the Forward Centre we were able to identify concerns that a small group of people had in relation to the transfer of the service.
“We have been working with individuals who raised concerns to identify appropriate solutions.”
She added that the transfer will not result in any reduction of services.
“Opportunities for people to maintain friendships they have established over the years are vitally important and will also still be available,” she said.