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Home » ‘I’m Just All Alone’: Woman, 91, Is Left Without Heating For Seven Days

‘I’m Just All Alone’: Woman, 91, Is Left Without Heating For Seven Days

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In Sheffield, 91-year-old Marjorie Richardson has been without heating for seven days.

She is shivering, freezing and doesn’t know when she’ll get warm.

The gas supply to her home and over 2,000 others has been cut off after a burst water pipe saw 700,000 litres enter the gas mains and cause widespread disruption.

But the timing couldn’t be worse as a blast of arctic weather settles over the country.

“I can’t do things that I normally do. I can’t cook, I can’t shower, all I’ve got is a microwave and a heater. It’s terrible,” Mrs Richardson told Sky News.

Outside temperatures are below freezing and inside it doesn’t feel all that different.

“I’ve never known anything like it, I’ve lived here for 70 years and I’ve never had anything like this. I’ve got enough clothes on for two.”

It’s unclear when Mrs Richardson’s gas will be switched on.

Slowly those responsible are working to replenish supplies – but it’s a process they think could take up to two weeks.

Image: A gas pipe is dug up in Sheffield Yorkshire Water, the company blamed for leaving thousands of people without gas in these freezing temperatures, has defended its response, saying its priority is the huge effort to restore supplies.

But the firm’s representatives were confronted by angry residents as they gave an update with other agencies in the Stannington area of Sheffield.

Many heaters have been handed out to homes, and vulnerable residents have access to blankets and thermals as well as free hot meals, Sheffield Council said, but Mrs Richardson, who can’t leave her home, says she hasn’t been visited by anyone.

“It’s absolutely wicked. Luckily my son brought me an electric blanket and that’s absolutely lovely, but I haven’t heard anything from the gas company or the council. I’m just left all alone.”

We passed her details to the council and the gas company who said they would visit her and work hard to get her heating back on as soon as possible.

But the cold weather is everywhere and many people across the UK will be struggling to heat their homes with hiked energy bills.

It’s those on the lowest income that will likely suffer this winter and with temperatures expected to stay below freezing for a week in many areas, the government is issuing an additional £25 cold winter payment to those who need it most.

In Greater Manchester, a charity on the ground says it’s not enough.

Read more:

UK weather: Millions can’t afford to heat their homes as ‘dangerously cold’ weather arrives

UK temperatures to plummet as low as -10C as major incident in Sheffield leaves 2,000 homes without gas

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Cold snap sees surge in gas demand Graham Witham is the CEO of Greater Manchester Poverty Action, and their biggest concern this winter is the weather’s impact on people’s health.

He said: “People are really suffering. We know that lots of families are making big sacrifices at the moment and for some families they just don’t have enough money to make ends meet.

“They haven’t got enough money to buy the food and clothes they need and have the heating on.”

The advice from health bosses is to keep rooms heated at about 18C, but for many in Sheffield and other parts of the country that will be almost impossible.

And as the sun sets, the cold bites – this arctic blast we’re facing is making a tough winter even tougher.