Statement from Kate Lee on the outcome of the consultation proposal to close Malcolm Sargent House

Here is CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Kate Lee's statement on the outcome of the proposal to close Malcolm Sargent House, the Charity's holiday service in Prestwick.

Over the past six weeks we have been consulting on the future of CLIC Sargent’s holiday service. 

Consultation ended on 13 July and, following a thorough review of all the feedback we received, our Board of Trustees has decided to proceed with the proposal to withdraw CLIC Sargent’s holiday service and we will now be speaking with affected staff about what this means for them.

This has been a very difficult decision to reach. The strength and depth of feeling expressed has been immense and I know this final decision will be received with the same degree of sadness.

More than 400 hundred people contacted us directly to express their views about the proposal. 

The local community’s desire to retain the holiday service is acknowledged in two petitions with close to 12,000 signatures. 

Your views are really important to us and we have listened. We’ve been clear throughout this process that we would look at any alternative proposals that met the scale of savings we needed in the timeframe required. 

During the consultation, we’ve been in on-going talks with a local group which expressed an interest in taking on the house and running a similar holiday service. We have been really impressed with the passion and commitment of this group but understand they need a little longer to register their organisation, raise funds and develop an operating plan.

Unfortunately this is longer than CLIC Sargent’s finances will allow if we are going to protect our core services offered across Scotland and beyond. 

However, the Board has also agreed that, in order to give the interested local group more time, CLIC Sargent will continue talks with the group. 

This means we will still be putting the property on the market in due course but will also continue to work with the group, giving them the best chance of success.

I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who has been in touch with us in the last six weeks, particularly the many children, young people and parents who have expressed both sadness about the proposal but also their support and appreciation of our core health and social care support and our grants programme. 

This has been an incredibly hard decision but essential to ensuring CLIC Sargent remains a strong organisation for children and young people with cancer for many more years to come.