A distressed elderly woman recovering from cancer fears her ceiling could collapse after pleading with a housing association to fix a leak in her bedroom for four months.

Betty Drain, 93, of Copperfield in Chigwell, first noticed the leak in May after hearing an ‘irritating dripping noise’ in her home.

Despite several calls to housing association London & Quadrant, the mother-of-two has been left with a hole in her ceiling and wet towels pushed against her skirting boards in a bid to stop the water creating further damage to the property.

Mrs Drain said: “I’m very unsettled, I feel worried that the ceiling will collapse while I am asleep.

“I have just been recovering from having a tumour removed. I just please want someone to fix my home.”

A spokesman for London & Quadrant said: “We have been in regular contact with the council to check on the progress of this work. 

"We also sent our own contractors to carry out internal investigations at Mrs Drain’s home, but no leaks were found.

“We fully appreciate the concern and we hope that the issue is resolved as soon as possible.

“Once the leak has been repaired, we will redecorate Mrs Drain’s home where there has been water damage.”

An Epping Forest District Council spokesperson said: “We are very sorry for the inconvenience suffered by Mrs Drain in recent weeks.

"We are concerned about the leak. Despite continuing investigation into the source of the leak it has not been possible to pin it down.

"We can say it appeared to be coming from a flat or walkway above Mrs Rain’s flat but we are not sure where.

"We have already had work done to try to find and fix it including drainage and resurfacing the walkway, but it is proving difficult.

"We are not giving up and will continue to work with Mrs Drain, her landlord London and Quadrant, and the tenants in the flats above to try to sort out the problem.”

For more on this story, see this week's Guardian - out Thursday