Search

Red Cross called to care home crisis after Havering Council declined to help own vulnerable residents

PUBLISHED: 08:37 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:15 10 January 2014

Residents Brian Laws and Nellie Ifield: 'Red Cross did what Havering Council  should have done'

Residents Brian Laws and Nellie Ifield: 'Red Cross did what Havering Council should have done'

Archant

The British Red Cross came to the call of the elderly and the vulnerable hours before the council during a 24-hour power cut affecting three sheltered accommodation blocks.

Power went out at 4.30am on January 2 at Sunrise, Solar and Serena Lodges in Hornchurch but it wasn’t until 8.30pm that the council arrived to help the residents some of them in their 90s.

Brian Laws, 73, of Sunrise Lodge, said: “The Red Cross had been there for two and a half hours doing what the council should’ve been doing.”

He said that a message was left on the council’s out-of-hours number at 5am.

“I called later in the day,” he said, “they replied: ‘Well if the electricity people are there then we will leave it’.

“But people had been without heating, hot food or anything for a long time. We’re talking about elderly people and those with multiple sclerosis.”

The Red Cross brought blankets and portable lights whilst a nearby tenant management organisation brought portable heaters.

Mr Laws assisted the Red Cross by making a list of the most vulnerable people.

They brought a lady of 96 down to the lounge of Serena Lodge where there was still heating. They made her a temporary bed so that she could sleep and stay warm.

“A lady with COPD [a lung disease] had to use candles for light which had affected her breathing badly,” Mr Laws said. “The Red Cross took her to the lounge immediately.”

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Lesley Kelly, said: “We are sorry that our tenants suffered during this period of bad weather.

“We are very grateful to all those who helped, including tenants, neighbours and the Red Cross.

“We apologise wholeheartedly to the residents who had such a bad experience. I have asked for there to be a review of all of our procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.”

UK Power Networks restored the electricity fully by 4am on January 3.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Romford News Stories

Two men were shot and one stabbed at a private party in Romford in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Judges from the prestigious annual London in Bloom competition have paid a visit to Havering.

The borough’s most gifted young people were recognised for their hard work and talent with certificates and awards last week.

Yesterday, 15:00

A mum-of-two has launched an online campaign to promote the borough and its family-friendly activities.

Yesterday, 10:00

If you’re wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend why not watch our three-minute Met Office update on whether we’re getting rain or sunshine?

Fri, 12:20

A charming musical about life, love – and tradition – in a Russian Jewish community wowed on its opening night.

Fri, 10:39

England 400-plus years ago was not keen on free speech, as Prof Ged Martin explains

Fri, 09:40

An entrepreneur who secured an exclusive top prize at last year’s Thames Gateway Business Awards has spoken of the “amazing” effect it has had on his charity.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now