Disabled gran forced out of flat by fire fears another Christmas in a Travelodge

A disabled gran forced out of her flat by a fire says she dreads the thought of another Christmas in a Travelodge. Karen Bishop, 51, had to leave her two-bed home in April last year after a blaze on the floor above spread. She moved in with her daughter Sarah Ward, 32, but, not wanting to be a "burden", left after just a few months. Since then Karen, a gran-of-four, has been moving frequently and living off takeaways, she says. She slept at a Travelodge on December 25 last year after spending the day with her daughter. And, with fewer than 100 days to go until Christmas 2023, she fears a repeat. The housing association managing Karen's home said she had been offered "alternative" options which she had rejected. Single Karen, from Norwich, said: "I didn't expect to be homeless. It is awful and depressing. I am living out of a suitcase. "I am having to move every two weeks. I am often not well enough to go out so I am often eating takeaways." Karen says she has stickler syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause serious vision, hearing and joint problems, and fibromyalgia, which causes pain and extreme tiredness. She admits her housing association, Orbit Housing, has tried to find her a temporary home while her flat is repaired. But she says the options presented aren't set up for her disabilities - so she's been living in hotels instead. Karen, who isn't working due to her health, says spent she last Christmas in a Travelodge with her French bulldog, Drew. And she fears it will happen again unless she speaks out. Karen said: "It is so depressing, I don't know what I would do without my dog. "They have tried to find me temporary accommodation. "Disabled accommodation is few and far between - most is not geared up for someone with disabilities. "I have stickler syndrome. It cripples you and makes your whole body more lethargic. "I've been offered a one-bedroom property - not even a bungalow - and if I don't accept I'm basically making myself homeless. "For more than a year it's been like hitting my head against a brick wall - it's so frustrating. "My health won't ever improve - it's always in decline - so it won't ever go away and getting up or down stairs is difficult. "My needs aren't being taken into consideration at all." A spokeswoman for Orbit Housing, the housing association, said: "We've continued to provide alternative accessible accommodation for Ms Bishop whilst her property is repaired following the fire. "We've offered Ms Bishop several other options for accessible private let properties and alternative hotel accommodation, which she has been unable to accept and we're continuing to look for and share other options with her, as well as providing a meal allowance. “We have also liaised with the local authority to support the customer in increasing her banding to a higher priority, as well as offered the option of further wellbeing support via our external partners. "We're in regular contact with Ms Bishop and apologise for any inconvenience caused." Travelodge did not comment.