Ding Dong… it’s a freezing, grey morning when SVP volunteer, Denis, rings on Gerry’s doorbell. He’s welcomed inside and shown into the ‘good room’. You know the one... Usually, it's at the front of the house. The room you always count on to be ready for guests.
All over the walls, you could see framed pictures of Gerry's family from years gone by. It’s like a window into his life ‘before’ —
Before his wife died… before his daughter moved away… before he found himself struggling to cope with food and heating bills… before he was reduced to living in a single room of the house just to keep warm.
“He was living in the kitchen,” says Denis. “He took us through and he had his table and cooker in there, not much else.”
There were rolled-up towels under the doors to keep the heat in. It came to light that Gerry could only afford to heat one room. He’d go to the kitchen when he got up, and most days, he’d stay there until bedtime.
“He couldn’t afford to heat his home anymore...he was living his whole life in a single room…” says Denis.
With your steadfast support, our network of volunteers — caring, thoughtful people like yourself — visit people in their own homes and assess how best to help them.
More and more people like Gerry are finding themselves turning to SVP for the very first time amid this mounting cost of living crisis.
Because of you, Gerry received fuel vouchers — enough to keep him going through the winter. Enough to give him the space to get back on top of his bills.
And, says Denis, they’ll keep in touch with Gerry. That’s how it works with our volunteers. Once someone is in the SVP family, they’re not forgotten —“We’ll check up on him from time to time, make sure he’s doing alright. And we’ll stop by at Christmas with a few gifts for him."
“It was a real weight off for him. He’s the type not to show emotion, but you could tell the help really meant a lot to him.”