Dec 16, 2013
So, we move into March, and on the 1st we learned of a lady who, because she'd had to pay to have her oil tank refilled, had no money left for food. Thirty quid provided a well-received solution.
On the 2nd we came up against one of the really awful horror stories in the form of a post in another group of which one of our own members is an admin. We talked about this poor woman's truly horrendous situation both within and outside the Fund's discussion page and decided that we'd like to offer £150. When we put the idea to the group's members they invoked a particular Clause of our Constitution, which permits members to make donations for a specific Client. As a result of this, we ended up sending this Client a total of £260, and members who work in an advisory capacity in another group also took her under their collective wing. As our resident File Sealer likes to say, this case was a great job jobbed.
A few days' rest, and then our second pregnant lady who, in order that her existing child could eat, was down to her last chicken fillet which she was having to share with her husband. Pregnant and starving! In the United Kingdom, the 7th richest nation on the planet! £40 enabled her to go shopping to give both of them a run of proper meals. We were touched when she sent us a photo of her bags of shopping!
We had a quiet run until 25th, when we were introduced to a chap who was offered just £4 as a Crisis Loan to cover his food and electricity for a week. It's not a misprint - they offered him just FOUR POUNDS. We stuck a nought on the end and made him cry with relief when we sent him our version of a crisis loan. For a start, it's not a loan when we do it; it's always a gift.
27th, and another person hitting Facebook, trying to sell personal items in order to buy food. He was waiting for his JSA application to be processed; his mother was laid off sick and they were trying to live on her SSP. They had just £3 left when we heard of them, and a week to wait before the next lot of SSP would be credited. The member who introduced this Client told us that she had actually fed him herself several times (which statement raised some... interesting... mental images!!) so we sent the Client and his Mum £100 via our member.
Also on the 27th, we came upon this case:
The Client had lost his home due to losing benefits. He has no short term memory due to illness and so forgot to attend his Atos assessment . He'd been reduced to sleeping on a friends floor, no heating ,no money, the friend was doing his best but losing the battle to support two people on one benefit. Our member who introduced the case got him a doctor's appointment and the doctor gave him a letter to give the council for emergency housing. Even so, the Client had no warm clothes as such and the flat was freezing. He had no support, and was waiting to be referred to Social Services. He was absolutely desperate, in a very vulnerable state and was slowly slipping through the net.
We sent him £110 and our friends in the advisory group managed to get him accommodation in an hotel where he could soak up some much-needed warmth.
And that took us to the end of March 2013. Not bad. Not bad at all.