Vulnerable Hackney residents offered debt assistance, low-cost handy person and befriending scheme

Peter and Tom Smith

Peter and Tom Smith - Credit: Archant

Vulnerable residents are being offered debt assistance, a low-cost handy person, a befriending scheme and advice on reducing fuel bills during the cold winter months.

Hackney Council’s SHINE (Seasonal Health Interventions Network) is a one-stop-shop targeting residents aged over 75, those with respiratory or cardiovascular disease and low income families with children under five.

Peter Smith, 62, lives in Dalston and is a full-time carer for his brother Tom, who has cancer and other health problems including poor mobility.

Mr Smith was in £400 arrears with last year’s winter gas bill when he contacted Hackney SHINE, which offered advice on how to cut down his consumption and become more energy efficient, as well as help making an application to the British Gas Trust Fund which awarded him £450.

Mr Smith said: ”The gas bill was crippling me and every month it kept shooting up. We couldn’t not have our heating on because of my brother’s illness.

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“I just wanted something to help me out of debt and Hackney SHINE made it all so easy, it’s defiantly worth contacting them.

“The price of a phone call saved me £400 and meant we could heat our house without worrying.”

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