A YOUNG woman from the district has told how she is forced to use a hairdryer for central heating by blasting it under a blanket as she struggles to pay her sky-high energy bills.

Catherine Geddes, 28, has been forced to take the extreme measure after rocketing fuel prices made her "anxious" to put her heating on.

Catherine, of Keighley, said: “I wrap myself in blankets, get the hairdryer and blast the heat under the blanket so it creates a cocoon of warmth.

“I’m the blanket queen. I put two or three blankets on especially when it’s cold like it has been this week."

Catherine was made homeless at 16 and doesn't have family to fall back on. She has been living in housing association accommodation for the past four years.

But she said she feels like she is "just surviving" as she struggles to afford to have the heating on even for just an hour a day.

She spoke as the Bradford district was gripped in a cold spell.

She added: “I have been homeless from the age of 16 and has been in five psychiatric wards.

“I don’t really have stability. I very rarely put the heating on, very rarely. It’s just too expensive.

“When you just put the kettle on, the smart meter goes up very fast. I’m constantly looking at the smart meter and living in a state of anxiety about the cost."

Catherine has bulimia anorexia, which makes it harder for her body to keep warmth.

She also suffers from mental health conditions and her only source of income is Employment Support Allowance and her Personal Independence Allowance.

She is left with just £100 after paying her bills, which she has to spend on food shopping, which has also seen soaring prices.

Catherine added: “It’s just a nightmare. It’s draining, you feel like you can’t do anything, I just feel trapped.

“I don’t really have family to fall back on. I feel like I’m just surviving.

“I’m on a pre-paid meter for electricity and it charges me 26p per day. If I was on a quarterly bill, I’d pay less.

“I ended up in hospital after a mental health breakdown and didn’t pay my electricity bill so they take £3.70 off me every week.”

“I put £10 a week in both gas and electricity, it used to last me the full week almost but since the price increase, it goes so much more quickly."

Fuel charity National Energy Action predicts that when domestic energy prices rise in April, the typical domestic gas bill will have doubled in 18 months.