For more than 21 years, Lucy Ashen lived next door to an elderly woman who was often alone and had no one to care for her. She spent years trying to be friendly and trying to connect with her neighbor, but the woman often isolated herself and was anti-social.
One day her neighbor got locked out of her house, and Lucy, a compassionate mum-of-three in West London, saw her neighbor in need and came outside to help her get back into her house.
She was not prepared though for what she would encounter. As she pulled her neighbor’s bedroom window open, she gasped; Lucy saw a room which was the result of a struggling elderly woman with a few mental health issues who was unable to take care of herself, and who was doing her best to survive.
She saw garbage, feces and mold everywhere, with upside down cushions and nearly all of her furniture destroyed. The woman was also without a bed and had sadly been sleeping on the hard floor.
“When I first saw the flat I was angry,” Lucy said. “This lady was defenseless and helpless. She had nobody and didn’t have the mental capabilities to ask for help.”
Lucy’s kind heart decided to take action. She needed help from her friends to donate some of the basic necessities which her neighbor needed to survive, so she shared the following post online:
“For those of you that don’t know the story so far……I have lived in Fulham all my life, and I’ve been in the part I am now for 21 years…..and I have an elderly neighbor. She lives on her own in a one bedroom flat and she has mental health issues. For legal reasons I am not allowed to name her, so I will call her My Lady, she calls me Lucy Locket
Up until 10 days ago this lady was living in indescribable filth and squalor. There was no food, filthy clothes, nobody to help her bathe, and just never ending loneliness and despair. I had tried on numerous occasions over the last few years to gain access to her property to help her, as I knew she was living in less than acceptable conditions, I just didn’t realize how bad. What I saw when she finally let me in will stay with me forever! It was horrific! NOBODY should live like it! So without stopping to think, I gutted her house! I mean everything went down to the toilet seat. I knew I needed help at this point, so without thinking too much of it I put a post on Facebook asking for help along with a list of what she needed.
I could not have dreamt what would happen next! The response has been overwhelming! I had around 80% of the list within 24 hours! The offers of help, the donations of goods and the beautiful messages of support still continue and it has astounded me.
It took me over 60 hours of cleaning to get her flat to an acceptable level for her to live in and 11 days on I’m still not finished! But with the kindness and generosity of the people who donated items I have been able to turn her house into a home.
She has everything she could need, a bed to sleep in (she was sleeping on the floor) good clean furniture, fresh new bedding, beautiful new clothes, three meals a day, and most importantly company. She truly has been saved from a lonely and degrading life, she has been given her dignity back and I intend for her to live out the rest of her life in comfort and surrounded by love.
Due to the outpouring of kindness from more people than I could have ever imagined, I have felt compelled to make this page to keep the people that helped us informed of our journey. People were so rightly concerned for her welfare and offered wonderful advice, so I would like to keep them updated on the progress of her care moving forward.
The idea is to try to give something back. To say thank you. It is impossible for me to mention people individually for what they have done, there are too many of you! But I will be posting pictures and updating when I can just to show everyone how far we’ve come and what can be achieved through kindness, generosity, community spirit and most importantly love.
This story is so much bigger than just my lady and me. It’s about…. #Mentalhealth #ignorance #negligence #awareness #theelderly #communityspirit #kindness #thepowerofsocialmedia #information #fulham #change #determination #love
I could go on and on as you may have realized!
I really hope this page is the right thing to do and that people will want/like it.
If you do please share.
Love Lucy Locket.
After finding her neighbor living in dire poverty, without anyone there to help look after her, Lucy was able to raise more than 2000 pounds for her neighbor via a GoFundMe page. She received a new bed, new furniture and lots of food from her generous friends on Facebook, and she spent a large amount of time turning her neighbor’s apartment into a clean and cozy home.
“I think she appreciates it. I’ve been in her flat every day and my children have been in and out and other friends. She’s coming out of herself bit by bit. She’s been singing songs with my daughter Ruby.”
Lucy’s story has been shared by thousands online, and she hopes that her experience will help raise awareness of the issue of elderly people being isolated and alone.
“I think it really touched a nerve with people. This could be your mum. This could be you. It could be me in a few years,” Lucy said. “She’s lived right under all our noses.”
Thanks to Lucy’s kind heart, her love for her neighbor, and the kindness of her community, one 76-year-old elderly woman was able to sleep well in a comfortable bed. She has food in her pantry, and knows that she is loved; that people care about her and that she is not alone.
If you have an elderly neighbor, consider checking up on them from time to time just to say hi and to see if they need anything. Life is not always easy for our seniors, especially when they are isolated and alone. Don’t forget the elderly in your kindness; sometimes they are the loneliest among us and need our love.
If Lucy’s kindness inspired you, please share her story online with your friends and family to pass the kindness along.