A COMMUNITY respite care bed which was launched in Corbridge will remain open and free of charge for the next two years.

A £120,000 fund-raising campaign was launched in 2016 to raise funds to cover the cost of the facility at the Charlotte Straker House for at least three years.

Dozens of families and patients have benefitted since it was launched last January, and the bed has quickly become a vital resource for local carers.

Berenice Groves, chairwoman of the board of trustees, said: “Our board of trustees has agreed that the respite bed should become a mainstream facility within the Charlotte Straker Project. This respite care has proven to be very important to carers in Tynedale, as it allows them to access short respite care breaks which are so vital to hard-pressed families.

“This year is our charity’s centenary year and I am elated that after 100 years the Charlotte Straker Project is still providing a quality, essential service to residents in our area.”

The bed provides short-term free-of-charge care for those who are aged 65 or over, although if an applicant is younger, staff will seek CQC approval.

Respite patients are those who need care at home and cannot be managed easily without a main carer.