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Families with additional support needs invited to discuss welfare support in Caithness

By John Davidson

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Dan Mackay is a former manager at Thor House.
Dan Mackay is a former manager at Thor House.

Parents of children and adults with additional support needs in the far north are being invited to attend a meeting in Wick to air their views about welfare supports for their families.

It comes after Sarah Scollay, the mother of a teenage son with autism, expressed concerns about how his future care needs will be supported.

Ms Scollay contacted Dan Mackay, a retired care inspector and a former manager of Thor House respite facility, for support.

Mr Mackay, who now runs his own care consultancy, Mackay ProCare Solutions, agreed to help co-ordinate initial meetings to gauge the levels of concern among local families.

He said: “After speaking with Sarah, it was clear to me that local care services appear to be fragmented, with poor levels of support.

“I’d been approached by concerned parents in the past when the former Wellington day centre closed its doors and, with it, the complete absence of meaningful, structured day care activities.

“Things certainly need to improve”.

Ms Scollay told Mr Mackay that “rather than spend the majority of our time with worry and anxiety, we want to discuss future plans that we can look forward to”.

Concerns have already been expressed about the lack of day care, respite placements and outreach services.

The meeting aims to seek views and suggestions from families about the support they would like Highland Council and NHS Highland to prioritise.

The meeting will take place in The Norseman Hotel, Wick on Tuesday, October 31, at 6.30pm.

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