Action Desk: Quick action after roof literally fell in

Partially sighted Gillian Thorpe after her kitchen ceiling fell down after a water leak in the roof
Partially sighted Gillian Thorpe after her kitchen ceiling fell down after a water leak in the roof
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A visually impaired mother and daughter from Sheffield asked for help after the roof of their council property leaked and they were unable to use their kitchen.

Gillian Thorpe, aged 54, and her daughter Tammy, aged 28, were at home when they heard a crash and realised a leak had caused the ceiling in their kitchen to collapse.

Partially sighted Gillian Thorpe with the remnants of her kitchen ceiling which fell on them after a water leak in the roof

Partially sighted Gillian Thorpe with the remnants of her kitchen ceiling which fell on them after a water leak in the roof

Tiles fell down from the roof, showering the room in debris.

The pair called Sheffield Council immediately and a worker was sent out to clear up the mess.

However, the council was unable to send over a plumber to do a repair as the leak happened on late afternoon on a Friday and there was no-one available until the Monday.

Gillian and Tammy were terrified of using the kitchen as with their limited sight they could not see the damage properly and were worried more of the ceiling would fall down as the leak was getting worse.

Their fears were realised when Gillian stood by a cupboard and another tile fell, narrowly missing her.

The pair were forced to eat out all weekend and moved their kettle into the living room. They filled the kettle from the bathroom sink instead of the kitchen to avoid being near the hole in the ceiling.

Gillian said: “The tile fell down right beside me and I am scared to go in the kitchen now. It has just been left.

“It could really hurt one of us. Because of my sight I can’t really see what’s happened and we had to take pictures of the ceiling and then zoom in on them to make out the damage. There’s nothing we can do and it is just going to get worse.

“Being left without a kitchen is just not practical – we are really struggling.”

ACTION:

We contacted Sheffield Council who said that housing management company Kier are responsible for Gillian and Tammy’s home and they would look into the issue.

A temporary repair was then quickly made to the roof.

A Kier spokesman said: “We attended the property on an emergency call out on Friday, March 4, where we made the area safe and removed debris from the property.

“A temporary repair to the ceiling was carried out on Monday, March 7, with an appointment made for Friday, March 11 to replace the damaged ceiling.

“This appointment was cancelled by the tenant and rearranged for Thursday, March 17, when a full repair was carried out.”