Terminally-ill gran, 88, given bucket and sandbags by council to tackle leaking home


Daphne Fearon who is receiving palliative care and suffers from dementia, was left without a working cooker, a functioning light in her living room and no heating due to the water tripping the switches in the flat in Kennington, London that she has lived in for 44 years

Daphne Fearon, 88, who is currently receiving palliative care, has been left in a property falling into disrepair because of a leaking pipe

A local council has given a terminally-ill grandma with just months to live a bucket and sandbags to control a severe leak in her flat.

Daphne Fearon, 88, is living in a home falling into disrepair caused by a leaking pipe which is currently shooting water and overflowing a bucket provided by Lambeth Council.

Daphne, who also suffers with dementia, doesn’t have a working cooker, or a functioning light in her living room and has no heating due to water tripping the fuses.

The Kennington resident has also been cut off with no access to her landline phone because water has leaked into the wiring.

Her daughter Elaine Holness, 66, was unable to contact her for three days, so decided to visit the flat before finding her beloved mum living in “unsafe condition”, MyLondon reports.

Elaine said: “The thing that hurts is that my mum thinks that nobody cares. She said, ‘I don’t matter, nobody cares’.

“She came from Jamaica in 1959. She’s from the Windrush generation. She has worked her whole life, she worked for the NHS as a cleaner. She she’s come, she’s worked and she’s made her contribution from her. And then to have this. This is not right.”







Elaine couldn’t get in touch with her mum – who also suffers with dementia – for three days because water had gotten into her telephone wiring
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Image:

My London/BPM Media)

The leak was spotted by a neighbor who had come round to deliver Daphne roast breadfruit on Christmas Eve, which was when the issue was reported.

Elaine says contractors went to the flat in January but says they closed the job and said the issue had been fixed.

Elaine says that Lambeth Council then gave her mum a bucket and sandbags to manage the leak.

She said: “The council came and gave us that bucket. It’s been there at least two months. We’ve had to empty it and we’ve got sandbags. The water then goes behind the cooker.”

By the end of January, Elaine was so “petrified” of her mum electrocuting herself that she moved her out of the flat.

The charity director said: “I couldn’t leave my mum. I wouldn’t have left a stranger under those conditions and I certainly wasn’t going to leave my mum under those conditions.

“But she protested that she wanted to stay. And she said, ‘don’t worry I’ll mop it up and perhaps if you push the light back up because its tripped’.

“And I’m thinking, ‘no, the water on the phone and you fiddling with the electrics, the next thing I’ll hear is that you electrocuted yourself, you can’t stay here’. We didn’t want her touching the electrics but because of mum’s dementia, how do we know she’s going to remember?

“On one side of the kitchen her microwave was working and her kettle was working which in a sense is a blessing but it’s also a curse because it means it would tempt her into the kitchen which is not safe. I just decided that I had to move her out of her.

After moving in with her daughter, Daphne was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and given months to live. But the 88-year-old, who is now receiving end-of-life care, wants nothing more than to be in her own home from her.

“She’s not eating anything and they said this is common with the illness and you know how nice it is to be able to sleep in your bed.” Elaine added: “she She says, ‘I just want to go home’. She wants to just at least spend a night in her home de ella of over 44 years. ”

Elaine says that due to her mum’s dementia she sometimes gets confused and thinks she’s in her home and that the leak has been fixed.

Elaine says the fact her mum is £1,000 in credit on her rent account makes the whole situation even more difficult for the family to accept.

Elaine claims that three blocks on the Cotton Gardens estate – Hurley House, Ebenezer House and Fairford House – are also affected by the leaks.

A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: We’ve been trying to fix a leak affecting this property for some time.

“But, unfortunately, it is a persistent problem that we suspect originates from another property, occupied by a leaseholder, above this flat.

“We have arranged to attend to address this leak in the next few days – we’re raising works orders so that access can be gained into the flats above to try to identify where the defective connection may be – and we will contact Mrs Fearon to confirm this.We’d like to apologize for the disruption and distress this has caused to Mrs Fearon in the meantime.

The council went on to say they’ve invested hundreds of millions of pounds in “improving out council home and estates in recent years, in line with the Lambeth Housing Standard (LHS)”.

The spokesperson added: “Lambeth has also concentrated on making improvements to day-to-day repairs and maintenance, including assigning 10 new firms and a brand new in-house repairs team to the task since this summer. These improvements demonstrate our determination to provide a better service to tenants. We’re committed to continuing these improvements, and acting quickly to resolve problems when they are brought to our attention.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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