Why I've started to panic about the cost of living

Amrit Dhaliwal

Amrit is one of our campaigners. She recently joined us at Downing Street to hand in our cost of living petition. She tells why the cost of living crisis is so important.

Amrit standing with Lora and Amy outside Downing Street. Lora and Amy are wearing Leonard Cheshire branded t-shirts and are holding signs saying "No more excuses. People need help now."

My name is Amrit. I’m registered blind, and I also have a connective tissue disorder, which makes me susceptible to the cold. Like many disabled people, turning off my heating is not a viable option, as cold temperatures can severely worsen my condition.

I’ve been campaigning with Leonard Cheshire on the rising cost of living. It’s affecting me and millions of other disabled people.

Handing in our petition

On Thursday, 22 September, I travelled to 10 Downing Street, where I met with Leonard Cheshire staff. There was a real buzz and energy as crowds of supporters gathered at the gates, and we eagerly awaited our turn to deliver the box of 404 790 signatures.

We united with Save The Children UK, Mencap, 38 Degrees, Turn2Us and other organisations. Together we are all demanding action for disabled people and families on the lowest incomes most affected by the cost of living crisis. It was really exciting at Downing Street as there was a great turnout, and I had never done anything like it before.

How the cost of living crisis is affecting me

It was important to me to go to Downing Street to make the government realise that the crisis is impacting everyone, and disabled people need more support.

I was concerned before, but I’m panicking now! I already have to start putting the heating on, which is on top of the high cost of food prices and fuel. The government support is a drop in the ocean. It’s not enough to help us get out of this situation.

It’s 2022, and disabled people shouldn’t have to decide between heating and eating. The cost of living is really high for many disabled people as we have to spend money to charge equipment, on specialist diets and on essential heating. For example. I’ve heard that disabled people are turning off fridges, eating food that doesn’t need cooking, or cancelling carers because they can’t afford it.

We need to increase benefits

I want to see financial support for disabled people to help with energy, fuel and food costs. Benefits must rise in line with inflation; right now, they don’t reflect the real cost of living.

Campaigning with Leonard Cheshire has helped me feel part of something big and like my voice matters.

My interview with Big Issue

To round off a great day, The Big Issue approached me and interviewed me on the spot as they knew I had something to say!

Read my interview