Disabled man's tears over home hunt

A HUNT is today underway for home for a brain-damaged Ipswich man.Sidney Bumstead has been unable to find somewhere to live after he was told three months ago he would have to leave specialist accommodation in Byron Road, Whitton, because he was not sticking to the agreement he signed when he moved in.

A HUNT is today underway for home for a brain-damaged Ipswich man.

Sidney Bumstead has been unable to find somewhere to live after he was told three months ago he would have to leave specialist accommodation in Byron Road, Whitton, because he was not sticking to the agreement he signed when he moved in.

Initially Ipswich Council said he would have to stay in West Villa, the council's temporary accommodation unit, but is now staying in a London Road guest house before a home that is suitable for him can be found.

The delay and uncertainty has left the 44-year-old, whose left side is partially paralysed after he fell in a pub car park two years ago, in tears and panicked about his uncertain future.

Today he said: “It is causing me a lot of stress. I know I'm not perfect but I'd like life to be a bit easier. I want to be back to how I was or as close as possible to how I was. I will try harder now; it's my only choice.”

His sister, Anita Pryke, 54, of Bramford, who is trying to help her brother said the current accommodation was unsuitable as Mr Bumstead could only walk with a foot splint and could not access the toilet in a wheelchair. He had fallen over while living there.

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She added: “It is so upsetting. I would have thought they could have sorted something out.

“He needs a place of his own with a support worker who can visit. Hopefully he would be somewhere with a warden because sometimes I walk in the door and he's twisted himself with his vacuum cleaner cable.

“He's in the strange situation because he's not so ill that he has to live somewhere really specialist with full time care, but he's not well enough that he can live in a normal house.”

She admitted that her brother, who has a ten-year-old daughter, had not stuck to his agreed physical rehab programme at the Papworth Trust-run home, but stressed he still deserved somewhere to live.

A spokesman for Ipswich Council said: "We sympathise with Mr Bumstead and we want to find a solution for him as soon as we possibly can.

“Clearly, we don't provide the kind of accommodation he needs but we are waiting for a specialist care plan from Suffolk County Council's Social Services."

Meanwhile a spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: "It is perhaps unfortunate that this gentleman has chosen not to take part in the very specialist rehabilitation offered through his current accommodation.

“Other people, some currently still in hospital can make desperately-needed use of that high-intensity support, so it is right that he be asked to move on.

"Suffolk County Council is very pleased that Ipswich Borough Council have offered him short-term accommodation. We are working with the borough and others to find the best longer-term place for him to live.”

Meanwhile Charlotte Lonsdale, head of housing at the Papworth Trust, which owns the Byron Road home, said: “Our team of independent living advisers have been working very closely with Mr Bumstead, his family and social services to find a solution. Here at the Papworth Trust we work very closely with our tenants to ensure that their needs are met.”

Are you a disabled person struggling to find accommodation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.