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Homeless Ilford boy, 10, describes ‘real-life horror’ of living in emergency B&B for four months

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 December 2019

Will, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: Shelter

Will, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: Shelter

Archant

A 10-year-old Ilford boy has spoken of the “real-life horror” of living in emergency B&B accommodation after he and his family were made homeless four months ago.

Will, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: ShelterWill, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: Shelter

More than 88,000 children in London are homeless and living in temporary accommodation, according to a report by housing and homelessness charity Shelter.

The charity is calling on every political party to put housing at the top of its domestic agenda and is asking the public to support its urgent Christmas appeal.

Will lives in a single room with his mum, dad and younger brother in an emergency B&B in Ilford. He and his family became homeless in September after being served a Section 21 "no fault" eviction.

"Life in the B&B is horrible, it's worse than being in a real-life horror film," Will said.

Will, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: ShelterWill, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: Shelter

"There's no room to do anything, even if I'm reading my book, as I'm still going to get annoyed by someone.

"I've been told off by someone for running in the small corridor, you can't do much, you can't play much. I don't get to play that often.

"Sometimes me and my little brother Harry, we fight for the one chair, because we both want to sit at the table, and sometimes he wins and sometimes I win.

"I find it really hard to do my homework as I get distracted by my little brother and I don't have another room to work in peace.

Will, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: ShelterWill, 10, has been living in an emergency B&B in Ilford the last four months. Picture: Shelter

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"We moved here in September, and they said we were going to stay for six weeks.

"Then they told us we were going to stay for two more, then they told us it will be another week, then another one.

"I love to read my book at the end of the day, and I struggle to because part of the time, my little brother Harry needs to go to bed. And we need to turn off the lights which means I can't see the pages."

The Shelter report shines a light on the 5,683 homeless families with children currently living in emergency B&Bs and hostels - widely considered the worst type of accommodation.

For the first time, the charity has exposed the frequency with which children are becoming homeless, as its Generation Homeless report reveals a child loses their home every eight minutes.

This is the equivalent of 183 children per day, enough to fill 2.5 double decker buses.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Day in, day out we see the devastating impact the housing emergency is having on children across the country. They are being uprooted from friends; living in cold, cramped B&Bs and going to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside.

"Every child has the right to a safe home and if we act now, we can help get them to a better place. So, every donation will mean Shelter can be there for the children and families who need us this Christmas."

To donate to Shelter's urgent Christmas appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or textSHELTER to 70030 to donate £3.

Texts cost your standard network rate + £3. Shelter receives 100per cent of your donation.


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