The future of a service that provides a lifeline to people with dementia and their carers is in doubt due to funding cuts.

People attending the day centre that runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Quaker Meeting House in Hemnall Street, Epping, have been handed a letter from organisers the Alzheimer’s Society saying the charity was considering its future.

Meryl Janes, 48, of Forest Road, Loughton, whose 82-year-old mother Frances Janes attends the centre, said: “It’s a day out for the sufferer and therefore the carer gets a break.

“They do a lot of activities with them – fun things to stimulate their memories.

“My mother has been going for about 10 years and I’m sure she would not be as able to cope without it.”

She was handed a letter from the charity stating that there would be a consultation with staff who run the centre from January 29 to March 11.

It stated: “If the decision is made to close the service, it will take effect from March 31.”

June Dempster, who has been a volunteer at the centre for 10 years, said: “I just think it would be tragic for the people who come here.

“If their transport arrives early, they’re moaning.”

She said at least 25 people used the service on an average week.

Claire Stockwell-Lance, the Alzheimer's Society’s manager for Essex said: “We are currently considering the future of the non-registered Day Support Service in Epping.

“The grant which finishes at the end of March is one of two funding streams from Essex County Council, which contribute to the cost of delivering this service.

“We will also continue to seek alternative funding for delivery of Alzheimer's Society services in the local area.

“We are examining different options for alternative services that Alzheimer's Society can deliver in Essex that will allow us to support people with dementia in their community and enable us to reach more people at a reasonable cost.

“We are committed to ensuring that people with dementia and their carers are supported through any changes to our services in Epping.”