Ana endured months of dreadful conditions in an East London hotel while heavily pregnant. She sent us a number of videos of rats in her hotel room, moving around among her belongings. The Home Office agreed to move Ana out of hotel accommodation because she was heavily pregnant. However, upon arrival to the address, by that time with her newborn baby, she was told the property would not be suitable, and was required to move back to the hotel. She chose to speak out about her experience “so that no one in the same situation will stay quiet because of fear.”
We are an asylum seeking family who arrived in the country in December 2022. They gave us accommodation. On the day we arrived we were welcomed in a room that was dirty, with plagues of rats and bedbugs. We asked for help because I was pregnant and the conditions we were in were harmful.
We had to call migrant help and they told us that we should talk to the hotel staff, with whom we had already spoken.
We were very worried about this situation and we had to call again, but we didn’t receive an answer.
Then the hotel staff moved us from room to room but the problem with the rats continued. They moved us to a third room, and there were still rats.
We did report all of this to the hotel manager many times, and he didn’t do anything about it, he just said that we called migrant help and they didn’t help either.
Because of the situation and all the stress and worrying, I got sick. I was admitted to the hospital with back pain and then got chicken pox because all the medication I was taking affected my liver.
When they discharged me from the hospital, the food was hurting me, so I went back to the hotel manager to see whether they could change my food. He told me that was not possible, so I resorted to calling Migrant Help to see if they could solve it, because I wasn’t eating, and what’s more, the problem of rats continued every day. There were more rats and my pregnancy was classified as high risk. And still they didn’t want to help me.
Even my midwife called and she did everything she could, and she didn’t have an answer from the hotel either as migrant help and the Home Office, so she put me in touch with RAMFEL.
RAMFEL helped me ny getting me transferred to a suitable accommodation so that I could cook my own food. Thanks to RAMFEL we are already physically and mentally well. Living with pests was too much, we were desperate and exhausted every day, having to keep watch that the rats aren’t biting our things or going close to our food. It was ugly to live like this.
RAMFEL helped me by getting food vouchers for us, since I didn’t eat at the hotel. I am very grateful for the help they have given us, they were aware of my case and they understood.
I am telling my experience so that no one in the same situation will stay quiet because of fear. Thanks to everyone at RAMFEL for providing help to families in desperate circumstances.