A DAY care centre for the elderly in Bradford has been left exasperated after losing vital funding, with the future looking bleak as a result.

The Queensbury Support Centre has been open for 24 years, and it relies on Bradford Council's annual grant to pay for its four support workers.

Centre manager Paul Barker, 68, said the council has now agreed to provide around a third of the money that the centre needs to keep running, but the rest will have to come from elsewhere.

A statement from Bradford Council said: “Queensbury Support Centre for the elderly was invited, along with other voluntary and community service organisations, to bid for funding from the Day Opportunities Grant fund.

“The £1,300,000 fund for the whole district has seen grants allocated to 91 organisations including in Queensbury and the surrounding area.

“We recognise the value of the service they have been delivering to the elderly in their community and are happy to continue our conversations with the organisation on how they can sustainably continue to run their services in the future.”

However, Mr Barker confirmed that a pair of bids for that grant were rejected, before the council eventually provided them with £10,000 worth of funding.

He said: "In the first round of bidding, we were told that we fell short by about four points on their criteria.

"We submitted a far more comprehensive bid in round two, but it was still rejected.

"We felt certain districts were maybe prioritised over Queensbury."

Despite the council now providing a five-figure grant, the support centre, which has around 30 regulars and is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-3:30pm, will have to raise lots of money in house.

Mr Barker said: "It's already £7.50 per day to come here and we might have to double that to cover our costs.

"Some people might not be able to afford that and then where do they go? We have 17 people over 90 and two over 100 here.

"When we drop them off at home on Thursday, we always wish them a good weekend but a lot of them say they'll just be staring at four walls, waiting for next Tuesday.

"It's a lifeline for families too. One elder has Alzheimers and his wife brings him here, and we also have a guy who looks after his mum seven days a week, but can bring her here to ease the burden.

"The rest of the money will have to come from what we've kept back, but we need some of that to pay for our trips out and a new minibus.

"Even then, all of this will only sort us out for the next 12 months."

Madeline Canavan, 65, is one of Queensbury Support Centre's 21 volunteers, and she has worked there for eight years.

She leads exercises, helps out in the kitchen and runs the Facebook page, which she says has had so much support since it was announced that the centre may have to close.

She is horrified at that prospect, saying: "It means the world to all of us. Some come for all three days and they get a drink and lunch provided

"I lead a sing song on Wednesdays and we do exercises. All the elders love doing sit down hokey-cokey too!

"It's a really good community service and there's nothing else like it in Queensbury. There's outings to The Raggalds pub, fish and chips trips, Christmas and summer parties and dominoes.

"It's good for them too. One woman came to us struggling with dementia and when she went to see her doctor a few months later, he remarked on how much her health had improved."

The Telegraph and Argus visited Queensbury Support Centre as residents were tucking into a delicious-looking roast dinner.

The elders were feeling satisfied after their meal and 99-year-old Ella Devlin, who was sat chatting with her friends, including 103-year-old Mary Morritt, said: "No words are big enough to express how much I love it here.

"I've been coming for over 20 years and I really enjoy the company. We're all worried because we don't want to be moved on.

"Bingo is good for our brains and we love getting competitive at skittles. The winner gets a bar of chocolate too. It all keeps us going."

Fellow resident, 85-year-old Doris Turner, said: "We laugh a lot here and I can go anywhere I want with Queensbury Support Centre. I'm not bothered where because all the trips are absolutely great.

"I really love visiting St James' Church in Thornton for their Christmas Tree Festival each year though."

She added: "My daughter is handicapped but I can bring her here if she's stuck too. I just wish more people knew about the centre, because more would come if they did."