Happy ending for Keith and Tanya Jakes and their family as they get keys to specially adapted home in March

Tanya and Keith Jakes family of Gorefield are moving into their new home in March. Left. Tanya and K

Tanya and Keith Jakes family of Gorefield are moving into their new home in March. Left. Tanya and Keith Jakes, Cllr Alan Lay, Cllr Paul Clapp. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A disabled couple and their family are celebrating after getting the keys to a new specially-adapted home.

Keith and Tanya Jakes, together with their children: Ryan (17), Jane (15) and Joe (10), took possession of the three-storey, four-bedroom house in Riverbank Close, March on today (Friday) ready to move into tomorrow.

The move is the conclusion of a long fight to get suitable accommodation after the family were housed by Roddons in a property in Gorefield, where wheelchair-bound Tanya struggled to use the upstairs bathroom.

In the end the family had to seek intervention from Councillors Alan Lay and Paul Clapp to try to make their Gorefield home more suitable for their needs and their plight made headline news in this paper back in January.

When they first moved into the Gorefield house it did not have doors wide enough to accommodate Tanya’s wheelchair. She suffers from Muscular Dystrophy and also has sight problems.


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Her husband is on crutches because of joint problems with his knees and hips.

Landlords Roddons only carried out alterations after Cllr Lay intervened but the upstairs bathroom was still an issue because of the lay-out of the stairs.

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“It was a nightmare. It was really difficult, the kitchen was so small I couldn’t even turn around in my wheelchair, and going to the bathroom was like a military operation. This new house is a dream come true. Nene have been brilliant, they have decorated right through and are going to put a lift in for me,” said Tanya

The family have been bidding on properties hoping to get transferred to a more suitable home for months, but according to Cllr Clapp, Roddons were not helpful.

“Roddons really haven’t been helpful at all. They just kept saying there were no other properties available. We have had to really work hard to get this family more suitable accommodation. Tanya and Keith could only use one entrance into their old house and that was the back door into the kitchen, which was too small for Tanya to manoeuvre her wheelchair. In the end the fire service condemned the property as unsuitable for them.

“Seeing Tanya, Keith and their family rehoused into a house where the doors have been properly widened, and where new landlords Accent Nene have promised to install a proper lift is brilliant. It is a really happy ending.

“Nene have decorated the property throughout and have gone out of their way to ensure the family has what they need to make their new home work for them,” said Cllr Clapp.

Cllr Lay agreed: “This is absolutely brilliant. I can’t praise Accent Nene enough, they couldn’t have been more helpful - completely different to Roddons, who have been so unhelpful all the way along.”

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