Residents to fight warden changes
ELDERLY residents living in a sheltered housing complex have vowed to fight planned changes that could end their on-site warden service.
Due to Cornwall Council cuts, the company which runs Bederkesa Court – Cornwall Housing Ltd, which is owned by the authority – wants to change the current system from a single daily resident warden to numerous on-call wardens.
Bederkesa Court resident Mary Fisher, 61, who has been living there with her husband for seven years, described the prospective changes as alarming.
"We realise the council needs to make cuts but it has taken a long time for the residents to build up trust with the current warden," said Mrs Fisher.
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"Most of the residents here are in their eighties and it's not just about sorting out bills and making sure the doorbell works; we share some of our deepest fears with the warden. She knows us all individually and it's a major trust issue; we aren't going to answer the door to complete strangers.
"Our current warden works 9am to 5pm, has an office on-site and helps us with everything: bills, filling out forms, helping those who have fallen and can't get up, and highly personal concerns. It was bad enough when they took away the 24/7 service."
Mrs Fisher has also criticised the way in which Cornwall Housing has dealt with the matter, saying: "We were first notified of the plans in a survey we were all asked to fill out four weeks ago. After receiving it, we asked for both the reasons for the planned changes and for a meeting with Cornwall Housing, but its response was, 'We don't know ourselves what's happening, so we can't help'.
"But we will fight. It's a case of fighting for those who can't fight for themselves."
Cornwall councillor Pat Rogerson, whose mother lives in Bederkesa Court, said: "We need to be proactive and prevent problems from occurring before they happen. The current warden is fantastic at doing that and provides not only physical but also emotional and mental health support.
"There are some residents approaching 100 years of age and, without the warden, they simply wouldn't be able to live there."
Cornwall Housing Ltd, which has agreed to meet residents on October 3, said in a statement: "Cornwall Housing Ltd provides support services to some of its tenants on behalf of Adult Care Health and Wellbeing (ACHW).
"The restructuring of funding from ACHW means it is working with colleagues from that service as well as with tenants to look at how it can redesign support services to better meet the needs of older people and target services to those who need it the most."