May 11, 2017
We were contacted about a single mum with two young children who had unfortunately got into debt when she was switched over to being paid by Universal Credit. This young mum is deaf and suffers with anxiety, and the constant chasing from her creditors is only compounding the situation, making things far worse.
With the help and support of the agency, she is getting on top of her day to day bills, but she needs to apply for a debt relief order to sort this out. However raising the £90 to apply was beyond her means, so we agreed to send across a cheque for the £90 to be sent along with the application for the DRO. Hopefully she will be able to rebuild her life once the DRO is in place.
May 10, 2017
We were contacted rather urgently about a 63 year old lady, who having worked hard all her life as a nurse, was now needing both her knees replaced, unable to work, and had totally been let down by the benefits system. The same system that is supposed to be there as a safety net to catch people as they fall. She has not been paid any benefits since December 2016 after failing her ESA, and has been relying on help from her young pregnant daughter. This lady is in arrears with her rent, facing court action over her home, not knowing she could have gone to the council and requested a nil income form to make sure her rent and council tax would be covered. A complaint about how this case has been handled has been lodged with the DWP and the agency that is now helping her, having taken her case at the end of March, is supporting her to submit a fresh claim to DWP for Employment Support Allowance on the grounds of a worsening condition. The agents confirmed that this lady had done everything they had requested of her to do and were confident with the right support this situation could be pulled around, but for now she was quite literally at breaking point.
We agreed as a group to send across £150 to the lady and a further £50 to her daughter. We also agreed an extra small amount to be held in abeyance just in case it is needed, if her ESA takes time to begin payments. She was extremely grateful for the help.
May 2, 2017
One of our agents spotted a lady asking for advice regarding her ESA claim as she was waiting to hear when it would be processed and she might begin receiving payment. Her council had given her a voucher for a foodbank, but she was simply too unwell with a chest infection, to be able to attend the foodbank and collect some much needed food.
After we were certain that she was genuine and was following the correct procedures to best help herself with her ESA claim, we were happy to send across £50 so she could purchase some food and put some money on her gas and electric meters. She was extremely grateful and incredibly surprised that a group of unknown people had reached out to her and helped, in her hour of need.
Apr 28, 2017
Our agents contacted us about a lady in her 50s, with various physical health conditions, including alopecia, depression, anxiety, diabetes and arthritis, and self harms as well. She had lost her ESA claim. She'd been instructed by the DWP to attend an assessment, but her agoraphobia had prevented her being able to leave her home and attend the assessment. The DWP registered her as a "no show" and immediately stopped her award without referring back to her. Our agents are helping her with this, but being agoraphobic means she is unable to sign on for Job Seekers either, and her nerves have meant she has picked her skin raw, which has become infected, so they are trying to appeal the ESA decision on her behalf.
They wanted to know if we could help her, but spread any help we offered over a period of time, to allow her enough to buy food and put some money on her energy meters. We have agreed £150 of help, sent across at £30 a week for five weeks only. This is not something we normally do, but this was a case where the agency have specifically asked for this type of support.
Apr 26, 2017
The Biscuit Fund numbers
|2017 so far||2016||since 2013|
|1st quarter 2017||£||£||£|
|Opening value of biscuits in the tin||4,237||6,727||-|
|Donations received (including Gift Aid)||12,546||18,401||80,894|
|Crumbs of hope paid out||(6,927)||(20,741)||(70,738)|
|Volunteers & agents||-||-||-|
|Chocolate biscuits & other essentials||-||-||-|
|Independant examination of accounts||-||(150)||(300)|
|Closing value of biscuits in the tin||9,857||4,237||9,857|
|No. of cases where we've been able to offer a crumb of hope||67||164||536|
|*(see the blog for our latest success stories)|
Our admin expenses are zero (we even pay for our own chocolate biscuits) so everything our donors contribute goes directly to help someone in desperate need. We really are a zero overheads charity. We once paid 'expenses' to one of our Agents who paid for a cab to take one of our clients home with a heavy food shop. We reimbursed her £7 for that cab, as our client would have had no way of getting their food home without one. We have no premises, no company phones, no biscuit budget, no work laptops. No-one receives a salary from TBF and we don't even claim for the cost of stamps if we need to send a letter. We do our work with TBF using our own PC's.
As you can see, we are very small and so if you like what we do please help us by making a donation and tell your friends about us as we have no marketing budget to call on in order to spread the word. Even the smallest donation can make a huge difference. If you can spare as little as a pound you could help make the difference between a child having a meal and going to school hungry.
To all our donors, a huge thank you on behalf of our volunteers and agents but much more importantly on behalf of those who are so desperately in need of a crumb of hope.
Our charity registration number is 1154117 and we are an entirely not-for-profit organisation.
Apr 25, 2017
We were made aware of a Mum who has been staying in the accommodation made available to parents when they have a child in the hospital. This Mum, her daughter had had an accident and to date she has been through seven operations on her leg, and they are hoping she will be able to leave hospital this Friday, after her operation taking place today. As the daughter has been getting very depressed with all this going on, her Mum has been staying overnight at the hospital but has to pay £15 per night to do this. She has had so much time off work they are no longer able to pay her, and she has sold everything she can to raise money to pay for this accommodation. We agreed to pay the accommodation up to the Thursday night and send across some extra funds so that they are able to buy some food for when they return home.
Apr 20, 2017
We were made aware of a young woman who due to unfortunate circumstances with her parents, suddenly found herself homeless. Fortunately some friends have taken her in temporarily to keep her off the streets, but they are unable to feed her as they are on a very tight budget, and she has no money at all to buy any food herself. We agreed that we would send across a small sum of money to tide her over while the local authority considers what will happen with her as she is still considered a minor. Our representative was going to meet up with her and take her food shopping and help her get that to her temporary home.
Apr 20, 2017
We were made aware of a young Mum with two children, one of whom has been formally diagnosed with autism, but who also has special requirements regarding food. She'd been prepared for the holiday, but unfortunately a large amount of money left her account to pay a bill, earlier than she had budgeted for. They'd tried to get the payment stopped but it was too late, it had already left her account. This left her without money for food for herself and her two children, and the oldest child would be unable to eat the food she could get hold of from the local foodbank. We agreed to send across £60 to tide her over until her next payment of Employment Support Allowance, reached her bank account.