By Connie Osborne 15/06 Updated: 16/06 12:41
RESIDENTS in a sheltered housing scheme have made an impassioned plea to council bosses to keep their warden who is due to be replaced later this month.
Belinda Tongue, Home Support Officer at Redditch Borough Council owned Ibstock House, is due to be swapped with another warden at Arthur Jobson House on June 18 as part of rota changes.
But residents say they cannot bear to let her go as over the last four years they have built up a trusting relationship with her and she does everything for them from reading letters to those with poor eyesight, helping the less mobile get around or even just having a chat with people when they need it.
A petition has been set-up to keep Belinda at Ibstock House, which has already attracted 106 signatures.
Malcolm Gardner, who lives on the site, said the planned change had upset residents, with one woman crying in bed for three days.
“She is not just our warden, she is a friend to us all. She will always go that extra mile for anyone and we really don’t want to see her go. Some of my neighbours are very vulnerable. They can trust Belinda but the idea of someone new replacing her is scary for them.”
Julie Adams, whose late parents lived at Ibstock House, said: “They depend on their Home Support Officer as their lifeline to the outside world and who is also looked upon as a good friend and confidant.
“I would personally like to request this decision be changed.”
Liz Tompkin, the borough council’s head of housing, said some rota changes were inevitable to continue supporting the 500 people in the town using the Home Support service.
“We take extra care to minimise worries for our most vulnerable residents for instance those who are at the very end of their lives for whom continuity is very important.
“By ensuring Home Support goes efficiently to where it is required we have remained able to use the budgets we have to provide a full service to everyone that needs it.”
She added concerns had also been raised about the recent moving of a popular officer at the council’s Evesham Road property but the feedback from residents had been excellent.
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