Disabled Hornchurch mum in cry for help

Nicola Church and her son Mason (Picture: Sandra Rowse)

Nicola Church and her son Mason (Picture: Sandra Rowse) - Credit: Archant

A disabled Hornchurch mum has made a desperate plea for help with one of the most everyday activities – getting her son to school in the morning.

Single mum Nicola Church, 39, of Bruce Avenue, has the digestive condition Crohn’s disease as well as chronic fatigue, which make life a daily struggle.

Her four-year-old son Mason has school started at nearby Langtons but that entails financial costs which she thinks is unfair.

“I’ve had to hire a private childminder to take Mason to school because I can’t function in the mornings,” she said.

“I can’t get away from the toilet for long enough.

“But I can’t get any help from social services or anyone. There does not seem to be any help for disabled parents.”

Ms Church, also mother to three-year-old ­Ellie, receives support for her disabilities, including help getting up in the mornings, but her young dependent children are entitled to nothing because social services do not deem them “at risk”.

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“I need help getting their beds stripped and washed, because I’ve got inflammation of the shoulder and chronic fatigue so even folding up washing is hard,” she added. “Everyday tasks are just an ongoing battle.”

Ms Church, who left a job in the civil service two years ago, believes she is one of many parents with “hidden disabilities” that the system overlooks. “I had a long ­career before my children. I’m not someone who’s not paid in,” she said.

“But when the children came along and my health deteriorated, I just couldn’t cope.”

Cllr Roger Ramsey, Havering Council leader, said the local authority was “doing all we can” and examining whether there was any practical help it could provide.

“We have also been liaising closely with her son’s new school,” he said, “which has also been looking at ways to help, and has suggested that Ms Church could bring her son to school later in the day, until a longer-term solution can be found.”

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