Hook Norton mother and disabled son left without heating for over a month
The mother, and her son who was recently diagnosed as having an extremely rare chronic disease, were left without a working boiler in their home since December 21.
Allison Riddell contacted the Sanctuary Housing Association, who she rents the property from, on the day her boiler stopped working but a month later, the housing association says they cannot find the missing pieces to fix it.
With only a log burner in the living room and two small portable electric heaters provided by Sanctuary, the family is struggling to stay warm, which could have very serious consequences for Allison’s 18-year-old son Oscar, who has mitochondrial disease and is at risk of catching pneumonia.
Allison said: "Oscar’s body can’t produce enough energy, so being cold and having to wash his hands in cold water all the time is draining his energy and putting him at serious risk.
"They gave us two little blow heaters on December 21, and we can claim back a maximum of five pounds per day each, up to 125 pounds, but this only covers about four or five hours, which is not enough to heat the house and keep warm. As soon as we turn the heaters off, the room will go cold."
"We have an electric immersion switch. However, it cost £2.50 to heat the water for one hour and that only provides a short, lukewarm shower. I cannot afford to run the immersion all day to keep a constant stream of hot water.
"Sanctuary said I could claim for the extra electricity costs, but I cannot afford to pay out that much in electricity if Sanctuary turns down my claim."
Despite the housing association’s wellbeing team now being involved Alison is still waiting for them to repair her broken boiler.
Allison has been left feeling helpless by the seemingly lack of car by the housing association, she said: "I am obviously still in severe shock about the diagnosis and am struggling to get through every day at the moment and the last thing I need is no heating.
"I have been chasing sanctuary constantly, but they say that the parts for my boiler are not available. They called to assure me that the parts were in and that an engineer would be with us today to fix the boiler, but they still haven’t turned up."
A spokesperson from Sanctuary Housing said "Work to fully restore the heating was booked in for Wednesday January 25, following confirmation from our supplier that the parts were due to arrive.
"While we awaited delivery of these parts, we provided portable electric heaters for the family to use as a temporary measure and also offered reassurance that we would reimburse them for any extra energy used so they were not worried about additional costs incurred.
"We are sorry for the unexpected delays completing these repairs and for the inconvenience the intermittent issues with the heating have caused."
Since speaking with Allison, she has confirmed that Sanctuary sent someone to fix her boiler today (Wednesday January 25).