An East Kilbride community stalwart who dedicated almost 30 years of her life to helping others says she feels trapped in her own home after being refused a ramp.
Cathie Curran, who was a vital part of food bank Loaves and Fishes with husband Denis, has suffered ill health for a number of years.
With the couple, both 78, handing over the reins of Loaves and Fishes last year Denis is now battling to get an outdoor ramp fitted so Cathie isn’t housebound due to mobility issues.
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But South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) have told them the gradient at the front of their St Leonards home is too steep but “other options” are under consideration.
Cathie told Lanarkshire Live: “I’m really stuck without Denis.
“I can’t get out to the mobility scooter myself or over the step at front door. Having a ramp would make such a difference for myself and Denis.
“He has got to help me and it’s a struggle for him physically too.”
And former joiner, Denis, has refuted the claim that the garden is unsuitable, saying Cathie deserves more after her years of helping others.
He told us: “It’s just an excuse as far as I am concerned.
“I spent years working as a joiner and I don’t believe the front of the house should cause a problem for a ramp.
“I don’t think we have a right to get things others can’t or jump the queue because of our work, but I think given all that Cathie has done over the years should count for something.
“Even when her health started to go downhill and she couldn’t get in to the food bank she would sit for hours making parcels of food and toiletries and alike to be handed out.
“If the council don’t have the money just say that and then the question can be asked why they don’t have the cash – don’t come up with this nonsense about the ground not being suitable.”
He went on: “Cathie can’t walk unaided, if I go out she is stuck – it’s a struggle even for her just to get out her chair to the front door. Without a ramp she can’t get over the steps with her walker or to the mobility scooter.
“We first inquired about assistance from the council about five years ago when Cathie’s health got worse and were told it could take a couple of years to get a ramp.
“The occupational therapist came out a couple of weeks ago and agreed that Cathie had very little mobility.
“But I feel like we are being treated like fools because of our age and palmed off and that’s what I object to. it’s obscene as far as I am concerned.”
A spokesman for SLC said: “A request for a ramp at the front door has been considered.
“However, when the contractor visited the property unfortunately it was concluded that it wasn’t possible to fit a ramp that would meet building regulations which call for a maximum gradient of 1:12.
“Other options are under consideration.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.