STAFF at a day centre shut by the coronavirus pandemic have taken to the road to continue seeing clients.

Dunbar Day Centre has sat empty for more than 12 months, with the role of staff changing.

Jamie McNeil, manager of the building on Westgate, stressed that the doors might be closed but the service is very much still ongoing.

He said: “When the building closed, everything we had been offering stopped; all that community interaction and respite care ceased.

“Routine is essential for people with dementia, so we had to adapt and help, to continue our service but in a completely different way.

“We started visiting only four people during lockdown one; now that is 11.

“We visit and chat, take members for walks to help their mobility.

“We can help with shopping or just keep in touch. It offers the interactions that everyone has been craving.”

Before coronavirus, the day centre took in 16 people for five or six hours of respite care per person each weekday.

Services such as the day centre allow dementia patients to remain at home, rather than go into a care home.

Mr McNeil said that lockdown had “not been easy”.

He added: “The staff team have had to adapt. But our visits mean so much. Some people have no family nearby, the isolation is real and there have been plenty of tears.”

To bring some cheer, the staff and volunteers have made and delivered afternoon tea packages for members and their carers to enjoy.