‘Where are our human rights?’ – Stevenage woman says more must be done for residents at sheltered housing scheme

A woman living at Truro Court in Stevenage has claimed that efforts to make the sheltered housing sc

A woman living at Truro Court in Stevenage has claimed that efforts to make the sheltered housing scheme more festive have been blocked. - Credit: Archant

A woman living at a Stevenage sheltered housing scheme says there is a lack of festive spirit being shown by the borough council employees who run it.

Any attempts to improve the social scene at Truro Court in Canterbury Way have been blocked, according to one woman who lives there.

“Nobody is happy about being here,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

“We are trying to make it a happy place and every time we do we get blocked.”

She said attempts to set up a social club with funds raised from a residents’ raffle were halted when Stevenage Borough Council – which runs the scheme – said the money could not be used for that purpose. She said she was told the raffle money had to be used to pay for four annual events, but she said people pay for at least two of these events out of their own pocket anyway.

Attempts to get into the festive spirit with Christmas decorations in communal areas were thwarted when management apparently told residents fire and safety risks prevented them from hanging wreaths on their doors.

She added: “It seems when we get older we have no rights. The council comes in and moves our furniture around in the common room and we have no say.

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“We put a Christmas tree up and have been told now it has to be moved. We have been told we cannot have the raffle money for new Christmas decorations, and not for opening our new social club.

“We are living in a community and that’s what it should feel like.

“We are going to get the social club up and running and have got an appointment with a bank.

“We are only trying to enjoy our lives, but I feel like they are treating us like children. Where are our human rights?”

A spokesman for the council said: “We work hard with all our residents in sheltered housing schemes to promote their wellbeing and independence.

“Our team at Truro Court works with residents to organise regular events and we run activities to avoid social isolation. In December they have planned a Christmas meal and a carol service with mince pies and ward councillors have also put up Christmas decorations in the communal lounge.

“The amenities fund is for everyone at the scheme to spend on activities they can enjoy together. Residents tell us what to spend the money on and in the last few months they have enjoyed a Hallowe’en afternoon and fish and chip lunches.”