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Storm Christoph: Boat Lane Court Evacuation – an adventure

Boat Lane Court: Retirement Security Ltd

Boat Lane Court is a retirement housing scheme with 54 apartments in Northenden on the banks of the Mersey.  The Court is managed by Retirement Security Limited the Court Manager is Gaynor Davis.

On the night of Wednesday 20th January at about 5:30 PM it became clear that there was a possibility that the scheme might need evacuating. The Duty Manager was contacted by Social Services to notify the Court there was an Evacuation support plan in place moving owners to Wythenshawe Forum Community Hub and then onto a hotel. The Managers met with all owners face to face to inform them without alarming them of the Evacuation risk and they were asked to pack an overnight bag, warm clothes and medication in preparation.

As the night wore on and the river continued to rise the evacuation began, the Manager and Duty Manager David contacted team members Amanda, Kasia, family members, Safe Hands (care providers) and volunteers who gathered at the scheme and prepared to help the Court Manager take elderly residents to safety to families homes or on a socially distanced car or taxi journeys first to Wythenshawe Forum which had been specially opened to cater for evacuees from the floods. Here they were given tea and biscuits and then moved onto the Pendulum Hotel (Manager Simon Mason). By 4.00 am they were all safely gathered at the hotel. Two Duty Managers Kath and Kristyna remained on alert as a contingency throughout.

Residents spent the night at the hotel supported by Safe Hands and Social Services and as waters receded were able to safely return to Boat Lane Court. By 4:00 PM on Thursday everyone was back in their own home and greeted by soup, chocolate pudding prepared by Gaynor and her staff.

Residents commented that:

“Gaynor absolutely deserves a medal.  She treated each owner as she would her own family And so many members of staff were around to help even though they were not on duty.”

Mr and Mrs Armstrong

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