“We had two bad winter, and fortunately we survived it,” Godfrey Ward tells me, “but I don’t think we will survive another one.”
Godfrey, 77, and his wife Jeanette Ward, 69, worked hard all my life to afford home in Wigan.
Now retired, their combined weekly pension cannot stretch cover by rising cost of bills and urgent repairs they need in them home.
Their old boiler is broken beyond repair, so they have neither hot water nor heating. for months.
“It would cost around £2,000 for a new one” Jeanette says”and we can’t afford it.”
Read more: ‘I work more than 60 hours per week – no know which more I can do’: People in Wigan says they struggling
“Therefore, we have no heating, except for a fan heater. in one room.”
The couple must go to house of next of kin to take a hot shower, but Jeanette says they are not like harass them” by visiting too often.
“It’s about money,” Godfrey points out, “and I don’t like to ask for anything. If I can’t afford it, I won’t get it.”
“But in in back of my mind, I keep on thinking that if we don’t get help it will end up be a concern home for us both. But we don’t want that.”
Janet shakes her head while listening to her husband say it.
“No. She says”No, we do not want that. We want stay in our home and we couldn’t afford it anyway.”
But as energy prices, food bills and inflation rise future in in house where they used to live for years is getting harder to imagine.
Jeanette suffers from asthma and believes she is alive in cold house over the winter contributed to her getting pneumonia twice This year.
She is says she feels “bitter” and “angry” that after life of workcouple now finds himself struggling.
Next weekly lunch club, run by the age of the UK, this is at least a guaranteed hot meal in warm room.
“We’ll take this soup and sandwich,” says Godfrey. us”and then just anything small for our tea is something from chips or pie.”
“But even price of the pie is gone up up to £2.50 or more”Jeannette adds.
“We just about how to cope,” she said. says”But it’s not easy.”
Sarah Shannon, Deputy Head, Age UK Wigan Borough says their employees”run off their legs” with surge in calls for help.
Expenses of life: kay burley road back to Wigan Pier
“These groups are important for so many reasons: he gets people out of in the house they don’t have to have their own heating on they get good food but this also in social element they see people and meet friends.
‘Cause if you’re worried about cost of going out and things you may not see people and then also suffer from loneliness, so just aggravates problem.”