240./ Emergency electricity top up
Monday morning text comes in from a familiar recipient using an unfamiliar phone. A sign they’ve run out of phone credit. And electricity as well, down to the last £1 before it gets cut off. So I pop over to the flats and meet the lady, she’s high priority recipient, pregnant, with a toddler as well, and having a fairly rough time. How are you, I ask. Stressed. She’s spent most of the weekend trying to sort something out for the electric meter, asking friends and family, no one able to help. She’s just put £9 on in the last hour, since texting, an auntie got back saying she has £9 in her account and sent it to her. This is one of the things about people in poverty, they tend to only know other people in poverty. They do help one another when they can, but if someone is sending £9, rather than £10, you know it’s because it’s all they have. People are siloed, clustered in groups, I think, tending to know and associate with people of a similar ‘class’ and level of means. I think this applies all the way up from homeless people only knowing homeless people to middle class knowing middle class and millionaires knowing millionaires, maybe I’m wrong, but I think that’s approximately right.
Anyway, at the end of last week a kind donor gifted some nice bedding and a £20 note to be used for electricity top up. So that go used today, £20 on the meter, enough, with the £9, to take the pressure off for the week. The recipient was telling me about some of the problems within the housing block, a dog belonging to one of the residents had attacked another resident and a dozen police arrived with riot shields and fire extinguishers to get the dog off the mans face.
That’s the kind of thing that happens where they live. What can you do.
Kindly funded by Anne