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Guinness apologises after wheelchair user stuck in flat because of faulty lift

The Guinness Partnership has been forced to apologise after a disabled resident was repeatedly stuck in their flat because of a faulty lift.

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Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty
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A housing association has launched an investigation after a disabled resident was stuck in their flat for “25 days over the past year” #ukhousing

Actor Athena Stevens, who has cerebral palsy, told Inside Housing she was stuck in her flat for roughly 25 days over the past year, with the longest single period lasting 14 days.

Ms Stevens, who lives on the fifth floor, claims that the lift has been “consistently broken” since she moved into her flat in Winch House in south London in April 2017.

According to Ms Stevens, she has missed a series of professional commitments, including television interviews, and recently had to crawl down the stairs to get to a West End audition.

Ms Stevens said: “Every time I say we need to talk about long-term management they tell me, ‘Well it’s fixed now so hopefully it won’t happen again’.


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“I am a professional. Guinness has done nothing to even acknowledge the fact that this is having an impact on my professional life.”

Ms Stevens, who is a leaseholder, said that when she bought the flat she was assured it was built for people with disabilities in mind.

Several other residents in the 28-home block have been affected by the faulty lift, including a pregnant woman and older relatives, Ms Stevens claims.

A Guinness spokesperson said that a specialist contractor will now be conducting a full investigation into the situation.

They added: “The lift has now been repaired by a specialist contractor and we are reviewing longer-term solutions to improve reliability.

“In the meantime we have apologised to our customers for the difficulties the breakdowns have caused and we are offering additional help and support where this is needed.”

Separately, Guinness was also forced to apologise this week after a support worker in Gloucestershire criticised the provider over the allegedly “unsafe conditions” in one of their buildings, including “heroin needles” and “crack wraps”, Gloucestershire Live reported.

A spokesperson for Guinness said the organisation had been looking at a series of ways to tackle the issues, but said the situation was “difficult”.

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