Fresh woes for disabled teen

Amanda Hellman and her teenage son Louis Telford
Amanda Hellman and her teenage son Louis Telford

A woman’s decade-long fight to make her home more accessible for her disabled son has been dealt a new blow.

Amanda Hellman has spent the best part of 10 years fighting for refurbishments to her home in Inward Drive, in Shevington, to give her teenage son Louis Telford the best quality of life. But the 15-year-old, who suffers with cerebral palsy, might now struggle to even get through the front door.

Amanda’s council home shares a driveway with the house next door, which was also council-owned until the tenants recently purchased it outright. In doing so, the neighbours now have free reign to make changes to their half of the driveway, raising Amanda’s concerns that her pathway would be blocked and leave Louis with great difficulty when trying to get his wheelchair to the front door.

The Shevington mum said: "There’s just enough room to get through now, but they (neighbours) have said they’re putting a fence up. I would just be able to squeeze through, but my son’s wheelchair might not."

"The people next door have said I can still use the land, but if they sell their house, the next neighbours might not be as generous. I’ve been fighting for 10 years on and off to get these renovations and extensions. Now we might to move again."

But council bosses have reassured the family they "fully understand" their concerns.

Vicky Bannister, assistant director for homes, said: "We have been supporting Amanda and her son and are working closely with them to provide access to the property. We have already put an extension on the back of the house, installed a temporary ramp at the front to ensure access to the rear is maintained, and are considering a number of further options.

"We are currently in discussion with our legal department and a surveyor for further advice and to see if we can purchase a small piece of land which will allow permanent disabled access.

"As with all our tenants we will do everything we can to support them and ensure their property is safe."