Rising energy costs are costing me my independence and my hobbies

Jade is 35, and lives in Birmingham with her husband Andy, 43. Jade is a wheelchair user and spoke to us about her concerns about the rising cost of living.  

Jade, a woman with short hair, in a wheelchair, in front of a brick wall.

Since energy costs started going up, I can’t afford to do the things I usually enjoy most.

My husband Andy and I have really been struggling with the rising costs, and have had to borrow money from family and go into our overdraft to cope with this.  

I can’t afford to charge my wheelchair

I use an electric wheelchair and usually charge this every night so I can use it throughout the day and go out and about. But the costs have become so high that I’ve had to stop charging it every night because we cannot afford it. It’s about £20 a night to charge it.

We hardly go out at all anymore. It’s really affected my mental health.  

If I don’t charge it up, Andy has to push me around. Without my power wheelchair, I don’t have my independence.

If this carries on long term, I won’t be able to get around. I won’t be able to go to Sense TouchBase Pears, which I absolutely love doing. 

Debt is stopping us from enjoying life

We can’t afford to go out like we used to. We used to go to the cinema about three or four times a week, and we used to go bowling twice a week. We can’t afford to pay for bowling now.

We hardly go out at all anymore. It’s really affected my mental health.  

Despite trying to save money where we can and going out less, we’re both in debt with overdrafts. We’ve had to borrow money from Andy’s parents to pay the electric bill. 

Disabled people and carers should get more financial support

The extra money announced by the Government in May is not going to help us long term at all.  

I really think disabled people and unpaid carers should get a bigger monthly allowance to be able to pay bills and afford extra costs – more needs to be done. 

People who receive disability living allowance (DLA) need more than a one-off payment of £150.

It will take more to allow disabled people to actually enjoy life to the full. 

Demand more support for disabled people

During the cost of living crisis, we’re calling on the Government for:

  • A benefits system that meets disabled people’s needs
  • More financial support for higher energy costs
  • Targeted support for disabled people and their families

Will you join us?