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Life in lockdown: Ann and Neil 2021

author icon author icon 22/10/2021 author icon Member StoriesNews

On Christmas Eve in 2020 we moved into a rented property with a big garden, and we thought we’d be able to settle there. The house was big and bright and great for the dogs. It didn’t work out though as we had some problems with the landlord.  The house wasn’t safe, and the landlord changed the agencies he was using a few times.  We didn’t feel secure there at all and we were a bit frightened.  Nothing seemed to be done properly.

Ann had an operation on her eye in January.  The next few months were very difficult for us because we continued to have problems with our landlord.  Eventually we had some support from a homeless charity, and they found us a place in a homeless hostel.  We moved into the hostel in June and the charity helped us to move and to put our belongings into storage. They found kennels for the dogs and our friends helped us by looking after the hamster and the rats.  We had a bedroom to ourselves in the hostel but had to share bathroom and kitchen with other people. 

Whilst we were there, we started looking online for a new house to live in and this took up so much of our mobile data that there was never enough data left to keep in touch with our friends and family the way we would normally do.  Because of Covid, we couldn’t have any visitors to the hostel, and we felt quite isolated at times.  Other people living in the hostel were nice and the support staff helped us, but we’ve always been used to being busy and meeting up with people a lot.  Sharing one room was challenging for both of us too.  

Every time we rang up about a potential property, we were too late.  Eventually we were offered a two-bedroom terrace house and we moved in on 27th September, after being in the hostel for 3 months. 

This new place is a housing association property, so we have a secure tenancy and support.  It’s in an area that we don’t know very well but there is a market in the town each Saturday and that’s a great place to do our shopping.  We’ve got our pets back too and a garden with a gazebo at the bottom.

We don’t have any carpets and we left most of our crockery, cutlery and curtains behind at the other place. Support staff are helping us apply for a grant for some household items.  We lost a lot of personal and sentimental items when we moved – we couldn’t get them out of the house in time.  We feel like we’ve paid a high price for this lovely new place because we’ve had such a difficult time and lost a lot of our sentimental items such as things belonging to Ann’s mother.  We can’t replace those.

Ann goes into hospital on Monday 25th to have her gall bladder out.  We haven’t managed to get a GP in the area yet so we hope she will be ok after her op as our current GP is in Neath and won’t come out to where we live now.

Neil has been keeping as busy as he can, planning for Halloween.  Neil’s cousin is coming to stay next week and we’re hoping to go away for Christmas.  It seems like such a long time since we went to stay with family and we’re really looking forward to it.  There’s still so much to do in this new house but we hope it’s a fresh start for us now.

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