Elderly Lewisham residents left stranded after lift breaks down during pandemic

By Melissa Kasule

Vulnerable residents of a specialist housing block for people in their later life were regularly left stranded with their lift out of action, they say.

People living at the Anchor Hanover property Tony Law House in Osberton Road, Lee Green, said they regularly needed to call out the London Fire Brigade after being trapped in the faulty lift.

But they claim engineers would not do repairs because of fears of being exposed to Covid-19.

One Tony Law House resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The majority of us are fit and healthy and do everything for ourselves.

“However, when the only lift is constantly breaking down it’s a different matter.

“Carrying heavy bags of shopping up to the first and second floors. Carrying heavy bags of rubbish, bags of laundry up and down, and then we have couriers and delivery drivers.

“We feel awful when our delivery driver arrives and finds he has to lug our heavy bags of shopping up the stairs.”

“During the last breakdown, I had a 25kg bag of cat litter delivered, the courier said it was too heavy for him to carry it up. So, I had to drag it up to the first floor.”

Another resident, only named as Trish, said: “I got screws in my legs so I can actually manage to get up and down the stairs, with bannisters as long as I don’t have anything heavy to carry and it’s the same with a few other people.”

“It’s the people on the second floor.

“One’s got Parkinson’s and the other is still getting over cancer treatment.

“The last person who got stuck had to be lifted out because the lift got stuck between floors and she couldn’t get onto one of the ledges so they had to lift her out.

“We did have a slight problem as a lot of people thought we were a care home (and wouldn’t come in for fear of spreading coronavirus).

“A lot of people were frightened to come in, the workmen wouldn’t come in until they got the all-clear.

“It’s been quite hit and miss to be honest because that lift has been our lifeline.”

“We moved here for a nice quiet retirement; I’ve been here for four years. It was fine in the beginning – nothing went wrong, just minor things.”

“We having to rely on other people and we are very independent people.”

Samantha Sandy, district manager for Tony Law House, said: “As soon as we were notified that the lift at Tony Law House required replacing, we took immediate action.

“Unfortunately, the process was delayed due to the pandemic but a new lift was installed on August 6.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and continue to provide support to our residents during these unprecedented times. The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents is paramount.”

Pictured top: Tony Law House in Lee Green

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