Judith who lives in Billingham was referred to Five Lamps by Stockton Council for help on the Warm Homes Healthy People project as she was struggling with her finances and especially her utility bills
Being in financial difficulty was also having an adverse effect on her health and she was suffering from depression and anxiety and also having regular sessions with a counsellor to help her get back on her feet. She had also been made redundant which did not help her financial situation.
Judith’s main concern was her outstanding Gas and Electricity bill of £1,764.00 which had been an issue dating back to 2010 when her supplier had failed to replace her meter or issue any bills that she requested and she had even taken her case to the industry Ombudsman.
Whilst Judith was managing to make small repayments to her other debts she could not afford to deal with her utility arrears and she did not know what to do. When she came to Five Lamps for support she worked with both John Hird, Senior Loans Officer and Amy Baker, Executive Support Assistant.
John looked at her income and expenditure and after completing the assessment he submitted a Grant Application to the EDF Energy Trust which was successfully approved in October 2013 for the outstanding amount of £1,764.00 and he was pleased to be able to give Judith the excellent news.
Amy worked closely with Judith and looked to see if she could save her some more money by switching her utility supplier. This was also successful and Amy managed to find Judith a fixed 1 year contract and save her a further £66.25, there were also no tie-ins so she is free to move if a cheaper tariff is introduced in the next 12 months.
“I would like to thank Five Lamps for helping me get access to the energy grant which has now cleared all of my utility arrears which had built up due to my redundancy last year. I can now focus on the future and making a new start with my finances. Even when you are very independent you need the help and support of organisations like Five Lamps to help ease the pressure which was also affecting my health and for this I am very grateful to the team who worked on this for me”
Five Lamps are currently working with Stockton Council on the Warm Homes Healthy People project helping people in Stockton on Tees who are suffering from fuel poverty.