OAP too scared to spend money on heating

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A widowed pensioner who once walked the Great Wall of China, raising £5,000 for a kid’s charity,
is living in fear of winter fuel

Sandra Murray, 66, a former senior care assistant at Deanfield, said she is terrified to put her central heating on just in case the bills exceed her £60 monthly direct debit.

Mrs Murray, who lives in a one-bedroomed house in Ramsay Road, did her Chinese charity trek in 2001 raising more then £5,000 for children’s hospice Rachel House.

The pensioner, who lives alone and is diabetic, contacted the Hawick News via an email which read: “Dear Sir, I am contacting you because I don’t know what else to do. I am a pensioner aged 67 who up until last year did not give a thought to how much I used my electricity and gas.

“This year, I am sitting in my dressing gown and pyjamas with rugs round myself so I don’t have my heating on to save it up for the festive period.

“I know there are thousands like me all over the country. Why is the government not doing something to help?”

When the Hawick News visited Mrs Murray she was wearing several layers of bedclothes and a dressing gown and was huddled in a blanket. She said she was having friends and family to visit during the holidays and would put heating on for their arrival, but that it would be switched off once they were gone.

Mrs Murray added: “I am dreading the possibility of really cold weather.

“It’s sad. I have worked for 50 years and it would be nice to be a little more comfortable.”

The Hawick News contacted local councillor Davie Paterson on Sunday morning and explained his constituent’s plight.

Mr Paterson said he would visit Mrs Murray at her home and added: “I am just about to set off on my weekly walk around my ward. I will visit Mrs Murray this morning to see how I can help.

“A lot of older people are in similar postions. They are too proud to get into debt and too frightened to put their heating on. Some pensioners are having to choose between food and heating, and in
this day and age, that is a terrible thing.”