Family looking forward to Christmas after weeks in crowded B&B accommodation (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Family looking forward to Christmas after weeks in crowded B&B accommodation
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.
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