HOME help carers who lost their jobs after a charity closed in February have re-united to launch a new independent service to help people in need.

There was shock at the turn of the year as Crossroads, which had been long established in the town, announced that it was closing its doors.

Hazel Downie of Fairlie, who is a former senior support worker with Crossroads, has now helped set up a new service supporting people with dementia and mobility issues.

On one occasion since the relaunch they saved one resident from giving her bank details to a devious cold caller.

Hazel said: "We got a nice text back from the lady's daughter for our intervention.

"We helped stop this vulnerable lady with dementia from giving her details to a nameless, faceless individual.

"We have so many vulnerable people and they are being targeted and asked to give over their bank details.

"Something needs to be done to stop this.

Hazel believes the case shows just how vital the service is.

She added: "It was such a disappointment to everyone in the area when Crossroads closed.

"It is an important respite service, we take people out to lunch, do their shopping, take people out to doctor's appointments and the opticians.

"You name it - we do it.

"We are all autonomously working under the self-employed banner.

"We have five members of staff, and one relief support, and it is important to keep it personable and manageable.

"At present, we have 10 service users, and we also provide an ad-hoc service for anything that comes up."

"We felt it would be sad to let all our experience go to waste when the shut Crossroads.

"We are well qualified with lots of experience, and it is all personal, professional and transparent, and supports people in their own home.

The new service has been running for 12 weeks and has established itself quickly.

Hazel said: "The team all work very well together.

"We felt that we had built up a relationship with our clients and we had to continue."