Peace of mind at last

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WHEN a city pensioner with mental health issues started losing sleep over his Post Office bank account, staff at Sheffield Law Centre stepped in.

The client, who has long-standing mental health problems including anxiety, couldn’t keep track of his money because he was only receiving account statements every three months.

Douglas Johnson, equality rights worker at Sheffield Law Centre, said: “By the time his statement came, he couldn’t remember all the way back over three months.

“He worried excessively about it. He became sleepless at night and he didn’t feel confident using the phone to ring and ask for additional statements.

“All he wanted was to have monthly statements in the post.

“Although the Post Office could do this, it insisted the client phone every month to make a fresh request.”

The man visited advice workers from Sheffield Mental Health Citizen’s Advice Bureau at St Wilfrid’s Centre on Queen’s Road.

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They got in touch with Sheffield Law Centre, which explained the Equality Act 2010 to the Post Office.

Mr Johnson said although the Post Office did not agree it was discriminating against the pensioner, it agreed to provide monthly statements.

He said: “It makes a big difference for this particular client and we’re pleased the Post Office has ultimately agreed to our request.

“This is a practical example of the important rights granted by the Equality Act.

“Service providers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to their services so as to eliminate the barriers for disabled people. We believe the simple step of issuing monthly statements was reasonable in this case.”