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Stairlift user campaigns to remain in National Trust home

1st November 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Linda Bharier is campaigning to be allowed to stay in her rented National Trust property, which has been her home for over 11 years, and has been specially adapted with a comfortable stairlift to help manage her osteoarthritis. She is currently being asked to leave by the National Trust, however, which has issued her a notice to vacate the property so that they can update it.

The National Trust needs to carry out essential renovation work on Linda's cottage, which is one of the two Castle Hill Cottages that are part of the Sandhill Estate left to the National Trust by Lord Munster in the 1980s. Whilst the kitchen and other parts of the home have not been altered since the 1950s, which means that a great deal of work is now required, Bharier believes that it is unnecessary for her to be forced from her home.

The cottage means the world to the 59-year-old chairman of the East Surrey Labour Party: she currently lives there with her three cats, and her son still calls it home when he returns from university; the property has also been adapted with mobility aids to help with her osteoarthritis and she cared for her late mother there for a number of years.

Bharier told reporters: "I cannot find anywhere affordable to rent in Bletchingley or the surrounding areas" to stay whilst repairs are being carried out, but it is very important that she continues to live locally so that she can be close to her doctors and the consultants at East Surrey Hospital.

Bharier is now campaigning to be allowed to stay in her home whilst the essential work is carried out – something that the National Trust regrettably says is not possible. Geri Silverstone, a spokesperson for the National Trust, told reporters that "we have been working with her since February to find a solution to this problem" and have had to "take the unusual step" of issuing Bharier with a notice so that the essential work can be completed.

Click here to read a local news report of the story.

Image Credit: Ryan McD (flickr.com)