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Home found for mother of Lydia Bishop
Samantha Aitken, Jim Race, Leeanne Shepherd and Graham Falconer, of the Never Give Up Group at St Michael Le Belfrey Church
THE mother of a girl who died at a York nursery has been saved from homelessness by a church group.
Rebecca Dick, whose three-year-old daughter Lydia Bishop died in an accident on a slide at York College Nursery last September, has spoken of her gratitude for the help, saying: “It has restored my faith in human beings.”
The Never Give Up Group, a charitable group based at St Michael le Belfrey Church, has revealed how it stepped in to help after hearing last autumn that Rebecca, 23, had been given notice to quit her home in South Bank.
Chairman Jim Race said the move followed a change in her landlord’s mortgage, which meant he could no longer accept tenants on benefits.
He said she had been at risk of being homeless over Christmas until, workinng with the homeless prevention team at the Salvation Army, the group was able to negotiate a month’s extension for her.
It then found another private landlord, William Leach, who was willing to let her rent a two-bedroom terraced house elsewhere in the city at a reduced rent, on condition the group guaranteed to provide £1,500 to make up the difference between her housing benefit and the rent over the next 12 months.
“She can live there securely for the next year, giving her a chance to start to rebuild her life and recover from the trauma of the last year,” Mr Race said.
“The landlord installed a new bathroom and kitchen and she has now moved in, and very much likes living there.
“We will continue to give her support through the year.”
Rebecca, who was a student at the college when the tragedy happened, is currently unemployed, but said she was hoping to move forward.
“I am extremely grateful for everything that the Never Give Up Group have done for me.
“It has restored my faith in human beings and I am delighted to say I am happy in my new home and just wish to put everything behind me.”
The Never Give Up Group, which aims to help homeless and lonesome people and also to prevent homelessness, is organising a series of fundraising events to collect the £1,500, and has so far raised £400.
“We had a café at the church last weekend and are organising a quiz night and supper with light refreshments on Thursday, February 21, at the Belfrey Hall in Stonegate, with £5 admission, to which anyone is welcome,” said Mr Race.
• Anyone who would like to make a donation to help the fundraising for Rebecca can email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone Mr Race on 0758 4485835, or send cheques, payable to St Michael le Belfrey PCC, writing Never Give Up Group on the back.
• The nursery incident is still under investigation by police.