Man with cancer is living in a friend’s shed so he’s not out on the streets - despite being in ‘urgent housing need’

PUBLISHED: 17:29 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 17:29 01 December 2015

Shaun Taylor, Wimblington. Picture: Steve Williams.

Shaun Taylor, Wimblington. Picture: Steve Williams.


A 47-year-old man, who has been diagnosed with testicular cancer for the second time, is being forced to live in a family friend’s shed - despite being, according to an NHS consultant, in “urgent housing need”.

A letter from the doctor's to Shaun TaylorA letter from the doctor's to Shaun Taylor

Shaun Taylor, who suffers from bipolar personality disorder, would be homeless if it wasn’t for Paul Cole and his family, who live in Wimblington.

“To be treated like this is absolutely disgusting so we said we’d put Shaun up for a couple of days”, Mr Cole said.

“All we’ve done is tried to help someone, it’s a horrendous situation for us which has just escalated out of control.

“The doctors have said he needs medical monitoring due to his personality disorder so he can’t just be shoved in a hostel,” added Mr Cole.

One of many doctor's letters issued to Shaun TaylorOne of many doctor's letters issued to Shaun Taylor

A doctor’s letter also stated: “He has severe depression and borderline personality disorder. His medication regime requires repeated assessment and follow-up.

“It would be helpful for all concerned if he has some suitable long-term accommodation arranged to provide a base for ongoing treatment.”

A spokesman for Fenland District Council said: “Mr Taylor is on our priority list.

“We recognise his complex needs and we are doing everything we can, working with Circle Housing Roddons and Mr Cole, to find him suitable accommodation as soon as possible.

The shed in which Shaun Taylor is currently livingThe shed in which Shaun Taylor is currently living

“If that is in the private rented sector, we have offered to pay his deposit as well as support with his everyday living to enable him to maintain his tenancy.”

Cancer specialist Linda Bavister said Mr Taylor “needs to be housed as a matter of urgency” and his probation officer classified him as a “vulnerable person” in the community.

Mr Cole’s wife said: “He’d either have to live on the streets or come and live in our shed.

“It just wasn’t a choice really.”

Shaun Taylor, Wimblington. Picture: Steve Williams.Shaun Taylor, Wimblington. Picture: Steve Williams.

“I don’t want him coming out and living outside and being in the cold. I couldn’t live with myself if something were to happen,” she added.

“I’m not willing to have somebody possibly die because they aren’t getting the treatment or care they deserved.”

Mr and Mrs Cole say they have been switched back and forth between Circle Housing Roddons and Fenland District Council for the last two weeks trying to help Mr Taylor, who has just begun a nine-week course of chemotherapy.

Mrs Cole said: “The stress this has caused me has made me so ill.

“Sean’s a total mess at the moment. We’re doing everything we can.

“He has not got it in him to fight, so we’re doing the fighting for him!”

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