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Residents at retirement housing in Ipswich ‘trapped in their homes’ four times in six months due to broken lift

PUBLISHED: 17:06 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:06 09 August 2017

Denise Rolph, a Resident at Holme Oak Court, is trapped in her home after the lift broke for the third time this year.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Denise Rolph, a Resident at Holme Oak Court, is trapped in her home after the lift broke for the third time this year. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Residents at retirement housing in Ipswich have been ‘trapped in their homes’ four times in six months due to the lifts in the building breaking down.

Denise Rolph, a Resident at Holme Oak Court, is trapped in her home after the lift broke for the third time this year.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Denise Rolph, a Resident at Holme Oak Court, is trapped in her home after the lift broke for the third time this year. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Denise Rolph, 74, who has mobility issues and uses sticks to get about, couldn’t leave the second floor of Holme Oaks Court, in Cliff Lane, over the weekend because it is too dangerous for her to tackle the stairs.

Mrs Rolph’s daughter Vicky said she received a call from her mother on Monday in tears because she was ‘trapped up there’.

“This is the fourth time this year the lift has broken down,” she said.

“It broke down six weeks ago and it also happened two months before that.

“I have had my mum call me in tears. I have come off a 12-hour shift to come and see her.

“She lives on the second floor and has problems with her mobility,

“My mother is trapped up there. “They are trapped in their homes.

“She used sticks to get about.

“She can drive but can’t get to her car because she can’t handle getting down the stairs.

“It is only one staircase but there are four flights for her to take on.

“There are a lot of people with mobility issues who live there.

“Her next door neighbour is in a wheelchair so she also couldn’t get out of the building.

“I want to know what they would do if there was a fire.

“They don’t have any chairs to get them down the stairs.”

The lift was back in working order on Tuesday.

A FirstPort Retirement Property Services spokesperson apologised adding the firm would keep a close eye on the lifts in the future.

They said: “We would like to apologise to residents at Holme Oaks Court for the difficulties they have experienced due to the lift breakdown.

“Unfortunately lifts do experience problems from time to time and we act quickly to fix any issues. We fully appreciate the impact that a lift breakdown has on our retired residents and we have staff on site to support residents at times when the lift has been unavailable.

“Thankfully the small number of reported issues with the lift at Holme Oaks Court have been isolated and do not indicate a failing of the lift or machinery, but we will of course keep this under close review.”

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