Down & Out In Bournemouth & Poole: Day 8: The Dead Kid Factor

newborn10

There is plenty I could say on day eight, but I suspect you’ve heard it all before so I’ll just post a story written by one of the journalists from the Bournemouth Echo.

A BABY forced to sleep in a car with his homeless parents has died.

Donald, who was born prematurely at Poole Hospital, was just two-months-old when he passed away.

He and his parents featured in the Daily Echo in July when they spoke about their struggle to find a home in the Bournemouth area.

The cause of Donald’s death is not known at this time.

The family’s plight was originally highlighted by Claire Matthews, who runs the Hope for Food soup kitchen in Bournemouth. Claire contacted the Echo to say Donald had died and said his parents, now living in Kent, were “grief-stricken.”

“They are in a very dark place at the moment, they have nothing to live for now,” she said.

Claire, whose organisation has offered to help pay for Donald’s funeral, said the parents did not want to talk more about the circumstances of his loss at this time.

The couple are understood to be living in a bed and breakfast and have yet to find permanent housing.

In July, they said they were unable to find enough money for a deposit and had stayed at a Boscombe bed and breakfast for a couple of nights, and had also slept in their car.

They said they felt let down by local councils.

Both Poole Borough Council and East Dorset District Council were contacted for comment after it emerged the mum had contacted their housing departments for help in the past. A spokesman for East Dorset said they had never received any requests to re-home the family.

Poole Borough Council confirmed their housing officers had spoken to the couple, and had offered advice and support, but were unable to help because she was based in Verwood at the time of her inquiry.

Donald’s mum, referred to only as 39-year-old Jane, was admitted to Poole Hospital suffering pre-eclampsia and kidney problems. Donald was delivered two weeks early by emergency caesarean section on July 6. The pair were kept in for a week due to ongoing concerns for Jane’s health, and the baby boy was also admitted to NICU for a time due to low blood sugar levels.

The first time mum, who didn’t think she would ever have children, told the Echo at the time: “I love him to bits. I just want him to be safe.”

Well, he wasn’t, however,

‘Borough of Poole is pleased to announce that for the 12th consecutive year the council has not overspent its budget, despite significant Government funding cuts and continuing demand pressures on key services.’ 

Poole council deserves to be congratulated, it’s not often that a council that makes no provision whatsoever, for youth hostels, emergency housing or subsidised housing, accomplishes such a feat.

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