ELDERLY residents of a sheltered housing block have been trapped in their homes since before Christ-mas, due to a broken lift.

The lift at the four-storey Dalcross House in Ashley Road stopped working on December 20.

Since then many of the elderly and disabled residents of the 38 flats – including a 76-year-old woman recovering from a knee replacement – have been stranded, unable to manage the stairs.

It was repaired for one day on Christmas Eve – but has been out of action ever since. Now, almost three weeks on, residents are struggling to keep their cupboards stocked and suffering depression and isolation.

Among those worst affected is Sheila Tasker, 76, who returned home from hospital on Christmas Eve, when the lift was temporarily working, following knee surgery.

Apart from Christmas Day when her family managed to get her out – she hasn’t left the flat.

She has had to cancel three physiotherapy sessions, stalling her recovery – but, against the advice of her doctors, she will have to tackle four flights of stairs on crutches again to attend a vital session this week, almost a month after her operation.

“I’m getting a bit depressed at the moment,” she told the Echo. “I haven’t been out of the flat since Christmas day – they don’t think about that do they?”

Her daughter Sylvia Debnam said she was “fuming” and described the situation as “absolutely disgusting.”

“Everyone has been isolated over Christmas-time and had to make do with what little food they had,” she added.

“People have got to get to hospital appointments, but they just can’t make it down the stairs.”

She has delivered food hampers to her mum and neighbours, and praised the warden and more mobile residents who had been “up and down helping everyone” but added: “I think enough is enough – something must be done.

“I know it’s been Christmas time – but there should be something in place.

“There’s been no communication either – all there is is a note stuck up on the lift. I don’t think they’ve really been looked after.”

The flats are managed by Raglan Housing Association.

Regional housing manager Maxine Hartwell said its lift contractor attended Dalcross House on December 20, 25 and 28 .

“On each occasion they left the scheme with the lift working.

“However, on the last visit it was detected that the lift had an intermittent fault which was difficult to find and therefore new parts were ordered.

“Due to the parts not being available in this country and the Christmas break, the delivery time has been delayed.

“However, the parts are due to arrive this week and the lift contractor will install immediately.

“We hope to have the lift back in full working order by the end of the week.

“While the lift has been put back in working order for the time being, it is possible that it will break down until the new parts are fitted.

“The lift contractor will therefore call in to the scheme every day to check it.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to our residents.”