Pensioner with leukaemia wears hat, scarf and gloves indoors to avoid heating her home as costs rise

230222 Pensioner hat, scarf, gloves
Maggie Stead has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

A pensioner with leukaemia says she has resorted to wearing her hat, scarf and gloves indoors to avoid heating her home as the cost of living continues to rise.

Maggie Stead, from Leeds said she eats just one meal a day because her state pension is barely enough to cover her bills. The retired teacher, from Headingley, said: "I have central heating, but I never put it above 15 degrees - even when it's zero degrees outside.

"If I’m a bit chilly, I put a blanket over me. I just wrap up well. Hats, if I have to. Scarves, gloves."

Maggie regularly only eats one meal a day

Shortly after retiring in 2020, Maggie was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. It makes her more vulnerable to and more susceptible to cold.

The 67-year-old says she has stuffed rolls of bubble wrap in draughty places throughout the house to stop heat escaping.

And she has taken to scouring supermarket shelves for discounted food and often only eats one meal a day to save money."I'm exhausting myself because I have to go around four, five, six places sometimes just to get the deals, but you can end up saving yourself £7 or £8," she said.

Maggie says her state pension is barely enough to cover her rising bills

Despite her trying circumstances, Maggie says she is more concerned about others who are also struggling to afford their heating and food bills.Council tax is set to increase next month and although the government is granting rebates to many, several other outgoings are set to rise too. 

The energy price cap will increase by almost £700 a year, National Insurance costs will go up by 1.25 percentage points and inflation continues to skyrocket.Maggie warned the Chancellor to "be careful", adding: "You need to stop. People are not going to like it and they're gonna rebel.

"It makes me so angry because people are suffering. The energy companies are just taking liberties everywhere and I don't want to be paying for somebody's superyacht or champagne."It makes me furious. Absolutely furious."