Two Rugby brothers, aged 17 and 11, have been helped to stay in their home after their mother tragically died.
Just weeks after the loss of their mother Mandy Smith, 51, through lung disease, Bailey, 17, and Cameron, 11, faced double-heartbreak at the prospect of losing their family home.
Mandy lost her nine-year battle with emphysema just four days into the New Year to the devastation of her sons who both cared for their mother throughout the course of her illness.
The pair wanted to stay in the bungalow, owned by housing association Bromford.
However, due to the tenancy type and the age of Bailey, there were no succession rights. It seemed they would be forced to move away to live with their grandparents, losing the support of their close friends and neighbours in Woodruff Close.
But neighbourhood coach Claire Brindley-Taylor, determined to support the boys’ wish to stay in the family home, fought a three-month campaign alongside other Bromford colleagues to find a way round the issue.
Claire said: “We discovered that there was actually a clause where we could use our discretion and offer Bailey – as the eldest – an Equitable Minors Tenancy dependent on him being able to claim income support.
“After going backwards and forwards with appointments at the job centre, phone calls to the Department for Work and Pensions and asking for a mandatory reconsideration after our first application was refused, I’m delighted to say Bailey was awarded income support which allowed us to keep them both where they belong.”
Bailey, who is studying a construction course at Rugby College, said: “It has meant the world to me that Bromford has helped us keep this home and we’ve already been decorating the place to pay homage to our mum – it feels like she is still here with us.”
Grandmother Diane said: “I don’t know where they would be right now if they hadn’t been able to keep this place and poor old Cameron would have been devastated.
“All the neighbours love them and they have that support network in place, as well as us popping down every fortnight. It could have had a catastrophic effect on their mental wellbeing.”
Football-mad Cameron is still at school nearby while Bailey continues to flourish under his new-found responsibilities which include making home improvements and completing the weekly shop.
Claire added: “I put my full trust in Bailey and he has responded magnificently. What the boys have gone through is so sad but both of them have aspirations of doing their mother proud.”