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A mum who cannot afford to heat her home because of the cost of living crisis says she spends her days in shopping centres to keep warm.

Desperate Margaret Morris has not switched on the heating in her home in four years because of her high bills.

The 51-year-old shares her home with her 21-year-old son Scott but uses a payment metre and claims heating can cost up to £10 for a couple of hours, reports the Daily Record

Margaret said: “I basically cannot afford to heat my home. I have gas central heating and it just eats up the money.

“If I want to get a heat, I go to my mum’s or walk about the shopping centres.

“There are many others in the same ­situation, but they are never going to admit it.

“People I know are avoiding going home because they don’t have any heating.

“There should be places people can go where they can get out of the cold and get a bit of warmth.”

For the last few years Margaret has been a full-time carer for her son and she does ­voluntary work where she meets people struggling with fuel poverty.

She added: “They go out at 8am and don’t come home until 10pm at night because of the heating costs.

“They might go to a family member just to get some warmth and have a chat. That is very common in areas like Haghill where I live.

“For many people it is a choice each day between heating or eating.

“That can be ­dangerous, particularly if you are older.

“My son and I try to keep warm by putting on additional layers of clothing and wrapping up in duvets.”

The lack of heating means she can’t invite anyone to her home as it is too cold in the autumn and winter months.

She added: “No one comes to my house.”

Earlier this month a mum revealed she is already planning a trip to buy blankets and hot water bottles as she is terrified of her winter energy bills .

Claire Rickerby, 41, is worried she may no longer be able to afford to heat her house after her bills doubled in recent weeks.

Her gas and electric bills shot up from £100 to £200 per month and she is terrified that they are set to increase again.

Claire, who is unable to work, is one of many who is struggling through financial troubles amid the cost of living crisis with rising prices for essentials such as groceries, bills and petrol.

“It’s hitting everyone hard and I’m just trying hard to cut back on things,” she told Lincolnshire Live .

“It is a worry coming up to October when gas and electric could rise again.

“We will definitely be making a trip to B&M or somewhere like that to stock up on blankets and hot water bottles just in case.”