‘Thanks if you gave me a helping hand, now I have some hope at last’ says Stevenage disabled man

Alan Ogden

Alan Ogden - Credit: Archant

A disabled man forced to spend months relying on foodbanks after his benefits were cut now has hope for the future – and wants to repay the generosity he was show during his ordeal.

Alan Ogden

Alan Ogden - Credit: Archant

Alan Ogden, of Brent Court in Stevenage, only started receiving benefits last week after the Comet hightlighted his case.

The 53-year-old suffers from Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis, which affects his breathing, and has a fused right wrist which he cannot bend.

The former baker, who had to give up work because of ill health in 2008, said: “Things have dramatically changed in the last few weeks. Before I was relying on people’s generosity but now I can finally stand on my own two feet.

“The Jobcentre has backdated my benefit claim so I can pay all the people back I’ve been borrowing money from.

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“I’m glad that they realised I can’t work because of my condition and they are now transferring me on to Employment Support Allowance, for people who cannot work.”

Alan has a long-term recurring problem with his right arm which started after he broke it aged 12.

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Since then he has had six operations, the last at the Lister Hospital in September.

But his condition has deteriorated and his doctor says he needs to see a specialist in Southampton.

Surgeons put a metal plate in his wrist so he cannot bend it, but a prosthetic wrist joint might allow him to regain movement.

That’s a highly specialised operation and Alan will have to travel to Southampton for the surgery – something he could not afford to do until now.

He is now waiting for an appointment and hopes to get his life back on track after the operation.

He said: “After all this time I feel that there’s now hope for the future.

“I want to work but at the moment I’m just not capable of doing anything.

“If I went back to work and fell over I could break my wrist again and then I’d be right back to square one.

“All I want is to get back to how I was and I just want to thank the Comet for supporting me to get there.

“I’m hoping that my next operation is a success and after that I can get on with enjoying my life again.”

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