Elderly Hatfield residents trapped in flats due to broken lift

PUBLISHED: 15:57 05 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:16 06 June 2018

Gwendoline Clarke with her children Adrienne Businaro and Chris Clarke. Picture: Supplied.

Gwendoline Clarke with her children Adrienne Businaro and Chris Clarke. Picture: Supplied.


Elderly and vulnerable Hatfield residents have been trapped in their homes for two weeks thanks to a broken down lift.

Gwendoline Clarke on her 95th birthday. Picture: Supplied.Gwendoline Clarke on her 95th birthday. Picture: Supplied.

Some Ashley Court residents have not been able to leave since the lift broke down on May 24.

Sanctuary Housing, which manages the flats, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times that they are waiting for a specialist part to arrive which has been ordered from abroad and the lift may not be fixed until June 18.

Gwendoline Clarke has been living in her flat on the first floor for three years has been left stranded due to the broken lift.

The mother-of-two, aged 95.5, suffers from bad knees which cause her a lot of pain so going up and down the two flights of stairs is “incredibly” painful for her.

Gwendoline Clarke. Picture: Supplied.Gwendoline Clarke. Picture: Supplied.

Like many of the other residents, Gwendoline has been relying on her two children Adrienne Businaro, 71, and Chris Clarke, 65, to help her or bring essential supplies.

As they live in St Albans and Oxford it isn’t always easy to get to their mum with work and other commitments.

The pensioner joked that she had to go nearly two days without a cup of British magic, tea.

Gwendoline said: “I can’t go out on my own as I need my walker but I can’t get down the stairs with it and I am terrified of falling over.”

The lift maintenance has recently been taken over by a new company, who have revisited the site but can’t offer a temporary repair.

If it is not fixed in time, Adrienne may have to cancel her holiday to France as Chris is away with work and she refuses to leave her mum stranded.

Chris said: “Despite numerous phone calls to Sanctuary, the residents feel they are being ignored and are concerned that Sanctuary have failed to put in place a contingency plan, have not obtained a second opinion from an alternative lift company nor made any effort to get a fast track delivery of the circuit board.”

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing said: “We apologise for the inconvenience that the broken down lift has caused and we share residents’ frustration that it is taking time for the specialist part required to arrive.

“Our contractors will ensure repairs are carried out as soon as the part is delivered and our scheme manager on site will continue to offer residents any support they need.”

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