Seaton homeless man given room at the Inn

PUBLISHED: 08:47 24 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:47 24 December 2018

Tim Joy at the Hook and Parrot  with neighbour Simone Sibbled who raised the alarm when the flats fire started and dragged him from his bed to safety. Picture Latham Bradley

Tim Joy at the Hook and Parrot with neighbour Simone Sibbled who raised the alarm when the flats fire started and dragged him from his bed to safety. Picture Latham Bradley


Pub team provides a bed in the bar for a vulnerable man forced from his home by a devastating fire

There WAS room at the inn for a vulnerable Seaton man this Christmas.

Tim Joy, 56, was left homeless after a fire swept through 15 flats above the Royal Clarence Hotel earlier this month.

For two days he slept rough on the streets before staff at the Hook and Parrot pub spotted him and offered him a temporary bed on the sofa in the bar.

Since the blaze various agencies had been involved in trying to find him a place to stay and he was initially given a room at the local Premier Inn.

But the retired London firefighter has mental health issues and had to leave because of his behavioural problems.

He has also been offered a bed in Exeter by homeless people’s charity Shelter.

But the pub team who took him in – Brad, Shel and daughter Becca Woodcock - say because of his special needs he requires a place of his own somewhere in Seaton where he can be close to his special friends.

Shel said they took Tim in after spotting him sleeping in the nearby Co-op car park.

“It was freezing cold so we called the paramedics,” she said. “They said he was borderline hypothermic.”

Tim was treated in hospital at Exeter where staff gave him a warm winter coat before he was discharged.

Since then he has slept in the pub or with a local contractor who was working at the inn and offered him a bed for a couple of nights.

But because of their commitments neither he nor the pub team can give him a more paramanent home.

Various groups have been involved in trying to find Tim accommodation including East Devon District Council and social services. Friends say none have come up with a solution that meets his special needs.

Said Becca Woodcock: “He needs help. All the people at the flat were close friends and offering him a place away from them in Exeter would not be a good move for him. I have never seen him so bad. I fear one day we will find him dead on the streets.

“Perhaps he could be given use of one of the many mobile homes at caravan parks in Seaton.”

A spokesperson for East Devon Council said: “On the day of the fire, December 2 housing officers attended the makeshift rest centre and met with the residents affected to discuss their accommodation needs.

“All those present were provided with emergency accommodation, which was initially arranged for 13 people. Since that date the housing options team have been in constant contact with the tenants and others, who were not around on the day, have returned and have also been accommodated. At present, one resident has been able to return to the property, three have moved into our supported temporary accommodation and seven remain in B&B. Others have been able to make their own arrangements.

“The man who is currently sleeping rough was provided with emergency accommodation, but unfortunately was evicted on two separate occasions.”

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