A REDDITCH community café has been cut off from its electricity supply for nearly a month leaving the organisation with no source of income.

Courtyard Eatery, which is based at Winyates Craft Centre, helps fund Inspire Community Training – a vital support centre, and its charity shop.

However, the well-loved cafe has not been able to open this year after its electricity supply was cut off, leaving the organisation struggling to make ends meet.

Karen Martin, director of Inspire Community Training said they have lost around '£700 a week' and if they were employing people they 'would have gone bankrupt’.

Redditch Advertiser: Courtyard Eatery holds events for the community including afternoon tea.Courtyard Eatery holds events for the community including afternoon tea. (Image: Courtyard Eatery.)

Karen says the Courtyard Eatery, the charity shop and Inspire Training are with different electrical companies so only the cafe has been affected by power issues.

The café is covered by Total Energies Gas and Power which Karen says 'shouldn’t be allowed to get away with when they have done'.

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She claims at the end of October they paid their electricity bill which was £800 then in November and December the organisation were not able to pay their bill.

“In those months we didn’t take any income to pay for the electricity, we were really struggling, and we just couldn’t make a payment to the company,” added Karen.

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The organisation broke up for their Christmas break on Christmas Eve and returned back to the centre on January 9 to find two men from Total Energies.

Karen said: “The men wanted £1.5k up front, which we didn’t have there and then, so they cut our power off.

“The café covers everything, it’s our income.

“The company then read our energy metre and told us we owed £1.9k.

“We started up a GoFundMe page which really helped and amazingly managed to pay the bill on Friday, January 13.

Redditch Advertiser: Various events are held at the Courtyard Eatery.Various events are held at the Courtyard Eatery. (Image: Courtyard Eatery.)

“However, we were told we couldn’t pay the money as we had not had our final bill priced up yet.”

Following this, Karen claims Courtyard Eatery received another bill for £500 on Sunday, January 15.

Again, the community railed around and raised enough money to cover the costs but again was told it wasn’t their final total bill.

More than a month later, Karen said she still does not know their final bill and can’t move to another supplier until it is paid.

“When we arrived at the café on January 9, in our post box found a letter dated November 22 from Total Energies," said Karen.

“But, due to the postal strikes, we didn’t get it and then we broke up on Christmas Eve so it must not have arrived until at least December 28.

“We still have not been told our final invoice, so we are stuck.”

Karen received an apology from Total Energies on February 6 for the ‘level of service’ received and that they were ‘not more understanding’ of the situation.

The energy company said it would be re-energising power as soon as possible and has given an updated finish date for their contract as February 23.

Karen said if the café was closed for any longer it would have forced the organisation into liquidation.

A spokesperson for Totale Energies said: "We appreciate that unprecedented rises in wholesale gas and electricity markets and wider inflationary pressures are creating an extremely challenging operating environment for UK businesses.

"We advise our customers to get in touch with us if they wish to discuss the options available to them if they are having difficulty paying for their gas or electricity supply.

"In this particular situation, we’ve tried very hard to communicate with our customer throughout the process, without success.

"We’re now working to re-energisee Courtyard Eatery’s site.

"With more dialogue, we believe we would have been able to resolve the issue before getting to this stage."