Dagenham mum was 'prisoner in her own home'

A MUM-of-two who struggled up and down six flights of stairs for years with a disabled son and a baby has finally moved into her dream home. Martina Owers-Wardley was a prisoner in her own home and relied on her family and friends to get out of the fla

A MUM-of-two who struggled up and down six flights of stairs for years with a disabled son and a baby has finally moved into her dream home.

Martina Owers-Wardley was a "prisoner in her own home" and relied on her family and friends to get out of the flat every day.

She and her husband, Richard, had been bidding on council houses for two years but were never successful as officers said their housing was "adequate".

But for Martina living in Reynolds Court, Marks Gate estate, was a constant struggle as she tried to handle a baby and her son Jack, two, whose calf muscles are too short - causing him walking difficulties.


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"Every day Richard would go to work at 6am," said Martina. "I would be like a prisoner, trapped in my own home.

"I couldn't get up and down all those stairs with both my boys.

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"Most days my mum would come to help me."

But thanks to the intervention of Jon Cruddas, Dagenham MP, the family were able to move on December 5.

After he stepped in and wrote to the council on Martina's behalf, she and Richard finally, successfully bid on a house in Parsloes Avenue.

Martina said: "It is such an unbelievable difference.

"I can walk out my front door and take the boys to the shops or to the play group at the end of the road.

"All the things I could never do before.

"We have a garden now and Jack and Stanley loved being out in the snow and fresh air."

Richard and Martina discovered they could to move into their new home on November 23 last year, the same weekend the couple were due to marry.

"Everything was happening at once," Martina added. "It was a mad couple of weeks.

"We were married in Hornchurch on the Saturday and moved into our new home on the Monday.

"There was certainly no time for a honeymoon!"

Martina, Richard, Jack and little Stanley are all very grateful to Jon Cruddas who helped them spend their first Christmas in their dream home.

Mr Cruddas said: "It is fantastic that Martina and her family were able to spend Christmas in their new home.

"This move has made such a difference to their lives and will benefit both her sons.

"When I first contacted the council they were very appreciative of our concerns for Martina and her family.

"Unfortunately, as is often the case here, there simply wasn't any housing available.

"Thankfully this is now being addressed, with new council housing being built in the borough for the first time in 25 years.

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