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Helen Bates

Repairs and maintenance

Banbury mother Helen Bates says she feels “really lucky” to be a Sanctuary Housing tenant after the service she received when her drains became blocked.

Helen found herself being unable to flush the downstairs toilet of her home, where she lives with her eight-year-old daughter.

She immediately contacted Sanctuary Housing’s customer service team and explained the situation to them.

It was arranged for a plumber to visit the property but when Helen returned home from work later that day she found water coming up through the bathroom floor.

Sanctuary employee Kate Carr taking a phone call from a resident

With the situation now much more urgent, Sanctuary contacted Thames Water, the utilities provider in the local area, and they attended on the same evening to clear the main drains on the street, which had become blocked with baby wipes.

Helen, who has been a Sanctuary tenant since July 2018, said: “I rang Sanctuary first thing in the morning, getting straight through. They were extremely empathetic and told me they would get onto it and call me back.

“I then went to work. On my break I saw Sanctuary had called and left a message for me and when I called back they arranged for a plumber to come when I got home.

“When I arrived home I noticed water was coming through the floor of the bathroom and at that point Sanctuary rang again with an update saying they now felt it was an issue for Thames Water.

“They said they would contact them and call me back. Within 15 minutes they had called back saying Thames Water would be with me by 7pm. Sanctuary also kept my neighbour updated via the phone which was also reassuring for them.

“Once Thames Water arrived they inspected the drains and toilet and quickly resolved the problem. My outside drain cleared quickly and my toilet flushed properly again.” 

Helen continued: “I wanted to leave positive feedback because I genuinely felt valued by Sanctuary. I felt the problem was taken seriously and each person I spoke to on the phone was really empathetic and helpful.

“I felt like I was being looked after and knew the problem would get fixed. By the end of the day I felt really lucky to be a Sanctuary Housing tenant.”

Download Blocked Drains Guide (PDF 218KB)