Pensioner ‘may not survive winter’ living in squalor as cost of living crisis hits hard
- Shocking photographs shared online show dilapidated conditions of Irene’s house in Huyton, near Liverpool
- One shows the tiny electric heater she uses to try and heat her entire home and another a hole in her wall
- Pictures shared by James Anderson, who runs a company that helps people who cannot maintain properties
- Mr Anderson said Irene’s neighbours got in touch because they were afraid she wouldn’t survive the winter
A Merseyside pensioner living with just a small electric to warm her dilapidated home and only toast to eat ‘may not survive winter, her neighbour has warned.
Shocking photographs shared online show the squalid conditions Irene is living in at her home in Huyton, near Liverpool.
One image shows the tiny electric heater she uses to try to heat her entire home after her gas supply was isolated, leaving her without any central heating or hot water.
Another picture shows her damaged back door – which doesn’t close properly – while there is also a large hole in one of her walls.
Irene is vulnerable and relies on oxygen cannisters, making the conditions she is living in extremely dangerous. Another grim image shows her surviving on a piece of toast because she has no other means to cook food.
Irene’s story and the harrowing images of her home were shared online by James Anderson, who runs the Depher Community Interest Company – a plumbing and heating repair company that works to help people who are living in squalid conditions and cannot afford to maintain properties.
A Merseyside pensioner living with just a small electric heater to warm her dilapidated home ‘may not survive winter’, her neighbour warned
One grim image shows Irene surviving on a piece of toast because she has no other means to cook food after her gas supply was cut off
Irene, who lives in Huyton, near Liverpool, is vulnerable and relies on oxygen cannisters, making the conditions she is living in extremely dangerous
Mr Anderson, originally from Liverpool but now based in Lancashire, is seeking the help of Merseyside tradespeople to help make Irene’s home fit for human habitation.
Having inspected Irene’s home, he took to Twitter to detail the situation and ask for help. He said: ‘This is where Irene lives. She is an elderly lady who needs urgent help, without it her neighbour said “she may not survive another winter”.’
Picturing the tiny electric heater, he added: ‘This is her only form of heating. He gas has been isolated, leaving her without any form of warmth or hot water. Irene needs the help of the community and experts.’ With an image of Irene sat next to a piece of toast, he added: ‘Jam on toast is nice, but not as a set meal.’
Mr Anderson said it was the pensioner’s neighbour who first raised the alarm about the conditions Irene was living in.
He said: ‘We went to the house and it was pretty terrible – it was freezing too as she has no heating. Irene has had to get used to this, but she shouldn’t have to – she nearly cried when we told her we were going to help her out.’
Mr Anderson set up Depher after his young son died several years ago. He wanted to do something positive to help people that would have made his son proud. He said in recent times he has seen people living in increasingly grim conditions as they can no longer afford to repair and maintain their homes.
Another picture shows her damaged back door – which doesn’t close properly – while there is also a large hole in one of her walls
Irene’s story and the harrowing images of her home were shared online by James Anderson (pictured), who runs the Depher Community Interest Company
Mr Anderson is hoping that through donations and offers of help from local companies, work can begin to make Irene’s home safe to live in again
Through a Go Fund Me page, he has so far raised nearly £150,000 to support elderly, vulnerable and disabled people heat their homes.
He is now hoping that through donations and offers of help from local companies, work can begin to make Irene’s home safe to live in again.
He added: ‘We need quite a lot of help. We need a door fitter, a kitchen fitter, a carpet fitter, plumbers, gas engineers and someone to provide a skip and help clear out the property. We also welcome any donations from people that will help with the project.’
And Good Samaritans have already flooded the comments with offers of help. One man said: ‘James, I don’t have money but I used to be a plasterer. I wouldn’t mind digging out my trowel to help with any work she could have done to improve the house.’
Another said they had donated their £66 government energy rebate to Mr Anderson’s Go Fund Me, while several offered to drop round meals and groceries to Irene.
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