A foster grandparents’ service that has run from the Stockton Centre for 29 years has closed, a week before Christmas.
Stockton Welfare Association spokesperson Wendy Cuneo said the scheme had closed on December 19 after running out of funding.
It had been run by the Catholic group, Mercy Services, but had lost its funding from the state government.
‘‘Established in 1985, the scheme saw retirees become very special friends to the severely disabled residents of the centre,’’ Ms Cuneo said.
‘‘At its peak, it had 50 committed volunteers and their efforts will be sorely missed by the participants and the Stockton Centre residents.
‘‘But some of the foster grandparents have vowed to keep visiting despite the closure of the building that had become a home away from home for those involved.’’
Ms Cuneo said the scheme had cost very little because it took just one administrator and the volunteers were paid only a small amount for travelling costs.’’
The Newcastle Herald is seeking more information from Mercy Services.