On July 13, staff at Princess Marina House in Seafield Road, Rustington, were told the home would not be reopening, having closed its doors in March due to the lockdown. Run by the RAF Benevolent Fund, the home provided short breaks to former and serving members of the RAF and their families.
News of the closure sent shockwaves through the community and sparked a campaign to keep it open, led by the Arun Veterans and Armed Forces Breakfast Club.
But in a statement released this week, the fund’s board of trustees confirmed that ‘following the end of a period of consultation with staff, their decision remains to permanently close Princess Marina House with the loss of 102 posts’.
A small cohort of staff will remain to support the services currently in place, including regular check and chat calls and to help establish what future services in the area could look like.
Of the 102 jobs lost, 19 staff members have already got another job, seven are retiring and four are planning to move away from the area; almost a third in total.
A spokesman for the charity said: “This has been a difficult period for all the staff at Princess Marina House and we would like to thank them all for their professionalism throughout this process.
“The fund’s senior leadership were keen to provide the staff with all the opportunities they required to look to a future beyond their roles at the centre. To this end, staff were given support to write CVs and we held a jobs fair at PMH; staff also received an appropriate redundancy package including payment in lieu of notice and payment for unused leave.”