By Sharon Smith and Lynn Clarkson, Community Energy Advisors
I met with Sam at the Social Supermarket at Rotherham Minster. Sam had popped in for a warm, cup of tea and a chat. Sam confirmed that they looked after their partner who had suffered with back problems since they were 17 years old. They were both claiming benefits and Sam confirmed that they were worried about the energy crisis and frightened to use their energy to warm the home. Sam struggled to read and write and suffered angina and diabetes. Sam’s partner felt the cold in the home exasperated the difficulties they had with pain in their back. I asked Sam if they had any draughts in the home and Sam confirmed that the door and windows did let a draught through. I therefore mentioned the Green Doctor services and the client was more than happy to be referred for contact by them. Sam confirmed that they were happy that they were claiming all benefits entitled to them. I mentioned Rotherham Borough Council Energy Crisis Support Scheme and the client had not heard of this before. Sam confirmed that they had £91 per month left out of their benefits when all necessary bills and essential items had been paid for. I offered to submit a form online to the council for the client for a call back and Sam was delighted for me to do this. The client was happy with the winter warm pack I gave them and said all the items would be very useful. The client confirmed that they were glad they had popped into Rotherham Minster as they were made to feel welcome, listened to and part of the community. Sam thanked Rotherfed for all the information and assistance and was more than happy for me to call them in two to three weeks for an update of their circumstances.