An amputee searching for a work says he was made to feel “deflated” when he was left stranded after being called to a meeting at a Jobcentre.
Graeme Moore, who lost his left leg to a nerve-damaging disease, was optimistic when he was invited to South Shields Jobcentre, for talks about a place on a course in sports development.
The 53-year-old has been out of work since having to give up his job as a swimming coach so he could adapt to his new life as an amputee.
But his optimism turned to despair after he arrived at the centre, in Chapter Row, South Shields, last month.
He was informed the meeting was on the first floor – and that there was no public lift.
Mr Moore managed to get up the stairs, but that left him in “excruciating pain”, he says.
He says it was only when he raised the problem with staff on the first floor that he was told there was a staff lift he could have used.
He is now asking why there is no public lift in the Government-owned building for people with mobility problems to use.
The grandfather, of West View, Cleadon, said: “When I got there, they told me the meeting was on the first floor.
“They could see I only had one leg and offered me no alternative to getting up the flight of stairs.
“It was only later that I was told I could have used a staff lift.
“I don’t think it’s right. If they are expecting you to attend meetings on upper floors, then there should be a lift for the public to use.
“You shouldn’t have to explain your medical condition to a complete stranger. I just felt deflated.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said if people make any mobility problems they have known to staff, they would be able to use the lift.
The spokesman said: “We will happily escort claimants with mobility issues to the first floor of the Jobcentre using the staff lift.”