Grandmother's plea as she feels her family have been 'left to rot'

Imogen, seven, Kyla, five, Maisie, who live with their sister in a house in NR5

Imogen, seven, Kyla, five, Maisie, who live with their sister in a house in NR5, but they desperately need to be closer to their Nanny, Melaine Thompson for some much needed support. - Credit: Melanie Boden

A grandmother is appealing to get her isolated daughter and grandchildren moved closer to her but is being hamstrung by lack of council housing. 

The city council has said it does not have the availability to move Jodie Thompson, 29, who lives in West Earlham, closer to her mum Melanie Boden, who lives in Fiddlewood. 

Jodie, a mum of four to Imogen, seven, Kyla, five, Maisie, two and Maiya who is almost one, lost child Mason in 2018 and has suffered with depression since then. 

As a result, her mother Melanie helps care for the children - meaning she must trek across the city twice a day to help with school runs. 

She said: “I have multiple disabilities and Jodie doesn’t drive so it would be a lot easier to support her if she was closer.” 

Jodie’s Cadge Road home is very small and limited space means that the four children all have to share a bedroom. 

Melanie said: “They need their own space where they can do their homework and get a good night's sleep.  

Seven year old Imogen is currently living with her nan. Melanie so that she is able to have her own space.

Seven year old Imogen is currently living with her nan, Melanie, so that she is able to have her own space. - Credit: Melanie Boden

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“Jodie just isn’t herself at all, I am truly worried about them.” 

After several unsuccessful pleas to the council, Melanie said: “It truly feels like they are leaving her there to rot.  

“It would just mean the world to me to find some support in getting her out of there, for her well-being and the safety of my grandchildren.” 

Imogen, Jodie’s oldest child has had to temporarily move in with Melanie, as her school work was being affected.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “There are 4,000 people waiting for a council property in Norwich, so it is important that the Home Options scheme prioritises people facing homelessness by applying set criteria for all applications. 

“Miss Thompson has been given silver banding which puts her in a strong position and we would encourage her to bid on two properties a week to maximise her chances."

Daniel Williams, chief executive at Home Start Norfolk - which helps with housing and other issues - said: “Parenting is tough. If you have a baby or small child between 0 and 5 and you are looking for support, please give us a call.  

“We cannot meet everybody’s needs immediately but where we can we will assess, signpost and try to match you with one of our peer Home-Start volunteers.”