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Disabled pensioner trapped in lift because of broken lift

a lift with an out of order sign

An elderly disabled woman has been confined to her third floor flat in Swanage for more than a month whilst she waits for the lift to be repaired.

Jean Chinchen, 94, has vision loss and uses a wheelchair - but for the past four weeks she has not been able to venture outside because of the broken elevator.

She told Bournemouth Echo:  “I was just hoping that someone can help me because I'm registered blind and I'm crippled.

“I can’t walk and I’m in an automatic wheelchair. I can get around a flat in the wheelchair but I can't get out anymore cause I'm three storeys up and we have a lift which I could use to get down to the grand floor but it's been broken.

“Every time I ask about it they say they can’t get the parts to fix it so I’ve been shut here for two months.

“I am a bit desperate because I can't read. I used to do dressmaking and all sorts, but I can't read now. All I can do is watch TV and everyday I sit there and listen to the TV and go to sleep and then wake up again.”

Every Sunday Chinchen Chinchen likes to go to church, but she has not been able to attend ceremonies for over a month because she has been trapped inside the flat.

“I'm 94, but I’ve got all my senses, I was born in Swanage and I've stayed here all my life. I'd just like to get out to church, I am desperate,” she told the publication.

“We are freeholders but there are people in charge who I pay nearly £2,000 a year for maintenance, and they're supposed to look after the building. And every time I phone the property manager Suttle and Co, they tell me they can't get the parts.

"I felt that if people outside knew that I was shut up, perhaps they would do something. I just want to get down in the lift.

“I have felt desperate because life's no good to me up here. I used to sew and knit and do all sorts of things but I can’t now."

A spokesperson for Suttle & Co said: “We are at Kone’s, behest really, they know the part that's needed for their lift.

“They've always serviced the lift and I cannot see how getting any other contract company is going to speed it up really.

“I feel for all the residents, there’s about five of them that can't get out.

“They can't go for jobs, they can't go to the doctor. They can't get out and Kone are aware of it. It's not like it's a secret.”

Suttle & Co say they were first made aware of the broken lift on September 20.

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