Helping at home
18 May 2018
| Care and Support | News
Bureaucracy got the better of Paul, threatening his composure and his home, but Metropolitan support worker Adenike Onigbanjo was there to offer vital support.
“An absolute gem.” That’s how Paul describes Metropolitan support worker Adenike Onigbanjo. “All the things she’s done and got sorted for me, it’s wonderful.”
Paul was first referred to Metropolitan’s Waltham Forest Wellbeing at Home service after his housing benefit was halted and he could no longer pay the rent on his small flat.
For five years, he had lived at the end of a private garden in a prefab that was falling into disrepair. He loved it, but it was damp, cold and damaging his failing health.
Paul, who has diabetes, and whose eyesight is fading, had overlooked important letters from the local authority relating to his housing benefit. Mounting bills and the threat of eviction had started to take their toll, with Paul becoming anxious, distressed, even suicidal. He couldn’t see a way out of the situation.
Adenike – who helps vulnerable adults to live independently – took the reins. She helped him appeal against the benefit decision, which resulted in payments being reinstated and backdated.
“Adenike wouldn’t let things rest until she had got it all sorted,” explains Paul.
Her next mission was to help him apply for sheltered accommodation. He was offered a place in Stratford, but a misunderstanding over the viewing led to the offer being withdrawn.
Again, Adenike stepped in. She explained the circumstances to the local authority’s housing department and asked if she could accompany Paul to any future viewings.
This led to him accepting a place near Walthamstow Market, but a fall in the street delayed the move. “It never rains but it pours,” he reflects. “I don’t know what happened, but my leg was in a terrible state.”
A hospital stay was followed by two months in a rehabilitation unit.
When he was able to move into his new place, there were some early problems. “The shower stopped working and the oven wasn’t wired in,” says Paul. But Adenike liaised with the local authority to get them fixed and spared Paul any additional worry.
Now retired, the former chef is “pretty much housebound”.
“It’s a nice place,” he says of his new flat. “I’ve never lived in social housing before, but I’m not in any state to move on. And if anything goes wrong, I know I can count on Adenike.”