The Solace Centre operates out of a space in the council-owned Marron House, West Ealing. The rest of Marron House is currently leased to a charity called London Cyrenians which provides supported housing for residents with serious mental health issues.
Cabinet agreed last night (Tuesday, 16 June) to reconfigure part of the Marron House site, freeing up an area in the main building that has garden access for the out of hours service and transforming the space that the Solace Centre currently occupies into two extra housing units for vulnerable young people.
Many of the residents at Marron House are also members of the Solace Centre and the move will allow the council to procure a linked service on one site with the potential to share staff and facilities. If the plans go ahead, the new drop-in service will start operating next April.
The council will now begin discussions with users of the Solace Centre and Marron House residents so that the new service can be designed to meet their needs.
Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for health and adults services, said: “I am pleased that we have found a workable solution that allows the service to stay open while making these essential savings. It shows the benefits of working creatively and collaboratively with local organisations.
“Keeping the service at Marron House makes logistical sense and is what members of the Solace Centre told us they wanted. There is a significant crossover in people who use both services and having them in the same building will be more efficient and effective.
“This proposal also allows for the creation of two extra housing units, saving money on expensive out of borough placements and providing more close-to-home housing for vulnerable residents. This all contributes towards the £96m in savings that we have to find.”
The decision was taken by Ealing Council’s cabinet on Tuesday, 16 June. All cabinet decisions are subject to a call-in period of five working days from the date of publication of the minutes of the meeting.