I am dedicating today's blog to an elderly lady that lives in Swinton, a true Salfordian, that was in the most desperate of circumstances.
Sylvia's living conditions were seriously affecting her physical & mental health. (Full details on a previous blog)
Her landlord is City West Housing Trust. The property had a serious damp problem which City West Housing tried to resolve but as far as Sylvia was concerend to no avail. To be blunt, she hated where she lived - ie the property.
On many occasions, Sylvia would telephone me extremely distressed and many times she was in tears. She was really at her wits ends so to speak.
My profession working with vulnerable people I was able to manage the situation for her as best as I could but to be honest listening to an elderly lady, nomatter who it is suffering like she did made my blood boil.
As City West Housing Trust were my landlord too of which I had suffered for many years (see previous blogs) where I was already threatened with eviction, being fined, sued, injuncted and even imprisoned for standing up to them to rid the blight of anti-social louts from our community, I wondered what if anything I could do to help and to be honest, if I did would this result in the loss of my home too ?
I advised Sylvia best I could, wrote letters on her behalf, Sylvia contacted Hazel Blears MP, several councillors all to no avail as despite her suffering City West Housing Trust would not confirm whether she would be moved, when and how long etc etc.
All they kept saying was that there were no suitable properties except in area's where Sylvia could not live (family etc ).
So in the end I said sod it. Over my dead body am I going to see this lady suffer 1 more day than she has to. Sylvia has suffered enough I said.
Not knowing what the consequences to myself would be, with Sylvia's full consent I told her that I would be setting a Facebook campaign up to support her being moved and that I would pay for the printing of 15,000 leaflets to deliver myself Swinton wide to inform the whole town how Sylvia has suffered and that no real help had been offered to her to ease her comfort.
Sylvia was so desperate at one point she wrote to our Queen !!!
I set the Facebook group up and got my friend & colleague to plaster a copy on City West Housing Trusts wall which I knew would draw their attention to what I was doing.
Within 30 minutes of doing this City West Housing Trust threatened Sylvia with court action and being evicted ! Well, what a surprise ?
Undeterred I advised Sylvia to hold tight, be firm, and that I was here in full control of events and said if the worst comes to the worst I would attend court on her behalf, up the campaign and take them head on because our elderly senior citizens should not be treated like this.
Sylvia was threatened twice during the first day alone of the campaign being started.
By the end of the first day we got over 500 supporters on our Facebook page Sylvia's Story! and this was rapidly growing.
By lunchtime of the second day Sylvia was officially informed that a suitable property was available and once its ready she will be able to move.
Sylvia today is collecting her keys to her new home which means that she will be able to live her remaining years in peace and comfort.
To date, there have been no further reprisals on myself from City West Housing Trust.
I wish Sylvia all the very best for the future and dedicate todays blog to her.