The Big Difference Scheme helps clear the clouds of debt for Errol

Errol Tucker is the definition of a hardworking man. Errol has worked all of his life, 7 days a week, whether it was as a security guard in the week or working as a DJ at weekends. He has always been a sociable and well known character, but all this changed when Errol was taken ill.

Having attended a routine doctor’s appointment Errol was rushed to hospital after it became apparent that he needed a heart operation. Due to the nature of the diagnosis Errol was in hospital for a long time, and made no arrangements for anybody to pay his bills.

This meant that when Errol came out of hospital as well as learning to cope with the new medication and a new routine of looking after himself, he faced a water bill claiming that he was £800 in water arrears, working out at about £70 per month.

Errol is a chronic haemodialysis patient, has had a triple heart bypass and is undergoing treatment for a form of cancer, as well as facing a number of other health conditions. Having not been able to work due to his health and after his time in hospital Errol was growing concerned about the amount of debt that was mounting and felt that he had no one to turn to.

However, Errol was able to speak with a welfare benefits adviser at the Severn Trent Trust Fund (STTF), he commented: “It’s been a lot easier since I found out about the Severn Trent Trust Fund, from the first minute the welfare benefits adviser walked on that ward she started and she hasn’t stopped yet.”

Pam, one of the welfare benefits advisers at STTF initially visited the Kidney Dialysis unit which Errol goes to for 4 hours, 3 times a week. Whilst at the centre based in Aston Cross Business Park, she was able to speak to Errol about The Big Difference Scheme. With her help, Errol was able to apply and get accepted on to The Big Difference Scheme, this has allowed Errol to pay £3 per month for a 12-month period.

The help hasn’t stopped there, as well as help with his water arrears, Errol was able to get a new bed through the welfare provision and has been referred to for occupational therapy. A grant of £1,000 has also been made available through the British Kidney Patient Association, and will cover the costs for a Plumber to install a shower and some tiling in his bathroom, this is currently being processed along with an application for a blue badge.

Errol is grateful for the work that STTF has done stating: “In 3 months, they have sorted out my water arrears, a shower and now they are arranging a blue badge for me. What is there to say? It’s like the light is shining on me.”

The Big Difference Scheme has given Errol the boost he needed and having had the financial weight lifted, and with the additional support he has received Errol’s well being has considerably improved.

Errol commented “The Big Difference Scheme has made a huge impact on my life” and hopes that by telling his story other people realise there is help out there for them too.

The Big Difference Scheme is run by the Severn Trent Trust Fund and can help people get up to 90% off their water bill, if you live in the Severn Trent area then you are eligible for the scheme, you can apply online at bigdiff.co.uk or visit us atwww.sttf.org.uk to find out about how we can help you.

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