Petrol crisis: charity calls for stop to panic buying

A charity is urging people to think before filling up their tanks as panic-buying led to problems providing care.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 2:56 pm
Panic-buying has led to some petrol stations suffering shortages

Worthing-based charity Independent Lives, which provides essential health and social care support across the region, faced a challenging weekend as care staff struggled to get fuel to make essential journeys to clients’ homes.

Rebecca Smicle, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Our amazing care staff have worked tirelessly over the last few days to provide the care and support which is so essential to those who receive it. We have been working to ensure that our care service is not disrupted and the most vulnerable of our customers receive the care they so vitally need. We are pleading with the public to only fill up their tank if they need it and to really think before heading to a petrol station.

“Without fuel and with the disruption caused by long queues outside petrol stations our care staff cannot make it to their appointment and people will suffer as a result.”

Last year, Independent Lives provided more than 50,000 hours of care to its customers. Its care services also provided respite breaks to carers and helped nearly 400 people to safely return home from hospital, supporting them to recover at home.

Director of services Sam Pegg said: “Our services run in tandem with NHS services and without them and other like them, health and social care in the UK would grind to a halt.

“Care staff have faced a challenging 20 months having worked right through the Covid-19 pandemic. For them to be unable to do their jobs now because of a minority of people panic buying is hugely disappointing.

“I would ask people to truly consider whether filling up their tank is essential and to think what it would mean to them if an essential worker was unable to get to a loved one.”