Norwich pensioner with cancer left with just £10 in the bank after electricity bill triples

  • In the second of his special reports, ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward has been meeting those who are fighting just to make ends meet

A pensioner who was once told he had only months to live has described the "frightening" experience of having only £10 left in his bank account because of soaring energy bills.

David Reid, 73, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer 11 years ago and was told it was terminal, but is now in partial remission after intensive treatment.

Since retiring to Norwich 12 years ago, he has been living off his state pension but he is now struggling to make ends meet after his energy bills tripled in October.

"My income is being eroded, there's nothing left at the end of the month now, and I think it's going to get worse," he told ITV News Anglia.

"My monthly food shop has also gone up 25% as well. Last month, I was left with only £10 in the bank. It was frightening. So much of your time now is occupied now with managing this."

Mr Reid is one of millions of people across the country struggling with rising costs, as inflation exceeded 10% in the latest official figures, with one research firm warning this week that food price inflation would reach nearly 15%.

Julie Mooney is volunteering at the social supermarket while she looks for a new job. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The pensioner said he had tried everything possible to save money, including buying all of his clothes from charity shops and relying on his family to send him coats and other essential items.

Having once earned a six-figure salary, he lost much of his money in the last economic crash, and now gets a lot of his food from a new social supermarket in the city centre which offers groceries at heavily subsidised prices to help those struggling to afford to eat.

When it was opened by local social enterprise The Feed in July, staff estimated that they would have 300 members by the end of their first year.

However, in the first four months alone, they are already up to 1,600 members, and the shop is supporting around 3,500 people in their family units.

Among them is Julie Mooney, 50, who lost her post office job six months ago.

She now volunteers in the shop while she continues to look for work, and relies on the service herself to survive.

"It's helped feed me on the odd occasion when I've had absolutely no money," she said.

"I can come in and get some very cheap food and create a meal for myself, and that has been a godsend."

The Feed's social supermarket already has 1,600 members. Credit: ITV News ANGLIA

Membership of the supermarket is free and people can get affordable food and free toiletries.

The shop is even being used by people who are in full-time work as the cost of living crisis continues to escalate.

"These are people from all walks of life, in work and out of work, just noticing that equation of how much income they've got versus growing expenditure," said The Feed's marketing manager Chris Elliott.

"It forces them to a situation where they need somewhere like our social supermarket to be helping them with their basic food items."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know