Sussex

Age UK charity 'empties' home of hospitalised pensioner

Pamela Clothier
Image caption Pamela Clothier said her circumstances should be a lesson for others

A pensioner has been left distraught after her home was emptied by a charity when she went into hospital.

Pamela Clothier, 92, from Battle, in East Sussex, said her family were under the misapprehension she had agreed to sell her bungalow and had asked Age UK to clear it.

She said the charity should have asked her before taking everything she owned.

Age UK apologised for the "predicament" that Mrs Clothier had been "put in by her family".

Mrs Clothier said she feels "almost nameless" after her possessions were taken.

'Didn't exist'

"I'm 92-years-old and I'm in a house which is almost empty," she said.

"All the work that I've done, all the knitting and sewing that I've done and all the things that I've made have gone - it's just like I didn't exist.

"I think they [charities] should be absolutely certain that the person holding the key and has a right to be doing what they're doing."

Age UK's solicitors wrote to Mrs Clothier in November offering £1,000 compensation and asking her to agree not to talk to the press.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: "We are sorry to hear the predicament that Mrs Clothier has been put in by her family, and as the basis of our charity is to help elderly people... in that spirit a goodwill offer was made to Mrs Clothier which she has accepted.

"Mrs Clothier's family are satisfied with the way that Age UK East Sussex have acted in connection with Mrs Clothier and it is clear that this is an inter-family dispute and nothing to do with us."

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