Family looking forward to Christmas after weeks in crowded B&B accommodation

Bournemouth Echo: HOME SWEET HOME: Karen and Gary Marquick with Isabella, 2, Samuel, 10, and Oliver, 3 HOME SWEET HOME: Karen and Gary Marquick with Isabella, 2, Samuel, 10, and Oliver, 3

THIS family is looking forward to celebrating Christmas in their new home. For earlier this year, they were living in cramped, temporary accommodation.

Gary and Karen Marquick and their three young children, Isabella, aged two, Oliver, three, and Samuel, ten, who has special needs, were living in one small room in a crowded B&B for 11 weeks.

The bathroom they shared with six other adults was in a poor, unhygienic condition and had broken shower facilities.

Gary, 41, explains: “Most of us think of bed and breakfast as a quaint little guest house with comfortable rooms and serving a delicious full English breakfast. “I can assure you that the bed and breakfast emergency accommodation we lived in for 73 days this year was neither comfortable nor quaint.”

Karen, 38, and Gary had been forced to leave their rented property when their landlord wanted to sell the house, so they turned to Shelter for help.

The family received advice from Shelter’s helpline about the six-week legal limit that they could be placed in temporary accommodation, and this encouraged the couple to put pressure on their council to house them. After six weeks, they were told that they had been nominated for a housing association property. The couple are now finally settled into their new home. Gary said: “We are all really happy and are looking forward to having a normal Christmas with our children this year. “I can't help but feel sad for any families spending Christmas in emergency accommodation.

“I feel almost guilty for happily moving on.”

Help for families

The Shelter helpline is open 365 days a year and is partly funded by Marks & Spencer, whose customers have helped raise over £2million over the past eight years by buying millions of Food on The Move range of sandwiches.

Around 990 people from the south west called the helpline last December – a 12 per cent increase from the year before.

Comments (7)

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9:17am Tue 17 Dec 13

Townee says...

Loads of accommodation for rent in Bournemouth but few will take DHSS.
Loads of accommodation for rent in Bournemouth but few will take DHSS. Townee

9:17am Tue 17 Dec 13

nickynoodah says...

Check Karens business out on Facebook
lovely bangles for xmas presents
I want some
A lovely lady.
Check Karens business out on Facebook lovely bangles for xmas presents I want some A lovely lady. nickynoodah

10:35am Tue 17 Dec 13

Huey says...

The best of luck in your new home. I hope you and your family are really happy and settled there. Well done to those who sorted this as well.
The best of luck in your new home. I hope you and your family are really happy and settled there. Well done to those who sorted this as well. Huey

10:52am Tue 17 Dec 13

Sir Beachy Head says...

"The bathroom they shared with six other adults was in a poor, unhygienic condition and had broken shower facilities"

-----

It would be useful if the hotel was named.
"The bathroom they shared with six other adults was in a poor, unhygienic condition and had broken shower facilities" ----- It would be useful if the hotel was named. Sir Beachy Head

12:57pm Tue 17 Dec 13

John T says...

Before readers wallow in too much sympathy for this family, perhaps they should read one of Karen's wine ( or should that be whine) reviews. The poor lady thinks Asda's Pinot Grigo is overpriced at £7 a bottle.
A Happy Christmas to Karen and family, but please don't overdo it on the wine, as you will not be able to replenish your stock from the Food Bank!
Before readers wallow in too much sympathy for this family, perhaps they should read one of Karen's wine ( or should that be whine) reviews. The poor lady thinks Asda's Pinot Grigo is overpriced at £7 a bottle. A Happy Christmas to Karen and family, but please don't overdo it on the wine, as you will not be able to replenish your stock from the Food Bank! John T

7:18pm Tue 17 Dec 13

stevobath says...

Why would anyone want to run to the ECHO with this?

Stick to the bargain bin too, even if you do 'deserve' a bottle of whine. Yes Whine.
Why would anyone want to run to the ECHO with this? Stick to the bargain bin too, even if you do 'deserve' a bottle of whine. Yes Whine. stevobath

8:07pm Tue 17 Dec 13

nickynoodah says...

Don't mistake my kindness for weakness.
Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. nickynoodah

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