Search

Win a £100 Amazon voucher in this week’s Recorder

On sale July 3

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

08:37 10 January 2014

Residents Brian Laws and Nellie Ifield:

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.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:47
Serious Incident Rainham Picture: @beckileigh_x

Terrified neighbours say they are “lucky to be alive” after explosives were found in a flat where a man was threatening to shoot himself.

Hassan Sheikh, 21, died when his car crossed the A13 central reservation on Wednesday

A man who died in a “devastating” crash has been named as Hassan Sheikh.

Yesterday, 17:14
Firefighter Steve McDermott, of Hornchurch, who helped to treat victims in the aftermath of the Tavistock Square bus bombing on 7/7. Picture: London Fire Brigade

The devastation which greeted Steve McDermott as he arrived at Tavistock Square could hardly have been imagined.

Yesterday, 14:58
Woolwich Crown Court. Pcture: Google Street View

A gang was found guilty in connection with a plot to intimidate a court witness by throwing a hand grenade and firing bullets at his home.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Y6 pupils unpack the rice

A school challenged their pupils to become enterprising individuals as they took on the national 90kg Rice Challenge.

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder