AN AWARD-winning businesswoman was days away from homelessness after lettings agents turned their backs on her, she claims.

Ces Loftus, who is currently going through a divorce, was made the Daily Echo’s Business Mum of the Year for 2012 after winning the greatest number of votes for her website Supportive Business Mums.

But just over a year later, the mum-of-three was forced to turn to her mother for a loan to ensure she and her children had somewhere to live.

Ces, who runs three successful businesses but needs £300 in top-up benefits each month, said: “It has been a living nightmare.

“My landlord gave us notice on our home in February as he plans to sell it. But we just couldn’t find anywhere else to live. No one would take us because I am on benefits. Despite the fact that I work ridiculous hours and run these businesses, we just got nowhere. It has been awful.”

As the deadline approached, Ces and her husband, who are separating but were forced to continue living in the same house because of their financial difficulties, desperately searched for somewhere to live.

“We were literally looking at camping sites,” she said.

Eventually, Ces’s mother took out a loan so she could pay a private landlord six months’ rent in advance.

But husband Jay is still struggling to find somewhere to live.

Ces said: “We want to share custody of our boys, but my husband may have to live in a bedsit, which would make that almost impossible.”

Ces, who has started new business Pretty Inspiring to raise as much money as possible to help her husband, added: “Everyone just disregarded us out of hand.

“I approached the Borough of Poole, who could only offer us – a family of five – a room in a B&B in Boscombe for six weeks.” Everywhere I turned, doors closed in my face.”