Feb 15, 2019
A mature student in his thirties had found an apprenticeship as a plumber. He was with the business for almost a year but they realised they were in trouble and could no longer afford to keep him on. He found another placement, but they messed him around and were refusing to pay him. He suffers with depression and is the sole carer of his teenaged son. All these issues are weighing him down, he is struggling to cope financially. Our contacts had assisted him with money to put on to his fuel meters, and he's been to the foodbanks for food. His child tax credits have stopped being paid, and he's had to apply for Universal Credit. His first payment from Universal Credit won't be until the 20th February, and he has already had a £200 advance payment. We agreed to send him £150 to buy food and to be able to top up his fuel meters.
Feb 15, 2019
We were asked to help a young mum of two children, both under 4 years of age. The mum was in business with her husband on a self-employed basis, however he has since left both the family home and the business leaving them both without any income. She has applied for Univeral Credit, but is facing delays as her husband is still listed on the tenancy agreement, so obtaining housing benefit is proving difficult. The husband has been abusive and this is now reported to the Police. In the meantime she has no money for food for her or the children, so we agreed to send her £100 to help her out.
Feb 5, 2019
This lady was brought to our attention by our agents. She is a lady in her late forties, that is in receipt of Universal Credit, but because her adult son currently lives with her that UC amount is seriously reduced. He is moving out soon to move in with his girlfriend, this will leave her subject to bedroom tax as she will be occupying a 3 bedroomed home. She is really struggling and is in quite serious debt, so our agents are referring her to their debt team to try to get this resolved. She has been a victim of domestic violence which has been so severe it has left her with a brain injury. This has meant she is unable to work, plus she rarely sleeps for very long as any noise and she wakes up. She is afraid to leave the house as her ex-partner knows where she lives and has already damaged the property leaving her with a broken window she cannot afford to have repaired and her landlords have said that because it was done deliberately they won't pay to repair it either, so she is in her home and it is freezing cold. She doesn't currently have any money for heating or for food. We agreed to send her £100 to allow her to buy food and put credit on to her energy meters.
Feb 4, 2019
This situation is a man that has been diagnosed with head and neck cancer, needing to have extensive surgery. He did have a job but had to give that up when he became too unwell to work. He was in receipt of Universal Credit, but recently had a work capability assessment (WCA) where they found him fit for work, despite the fact he is unable to turn or lift his head or arms. The outcome of the WCA has caused him emotional and psychological distress. He is still at high risk of infection, so it is important that he has access to hot water for keeping clean, however he is having to decide between heating his home or being able to eat. Our agents are going to help him put in an application for Personal Independence Payments, as well as appeal the decision of the WCA. We agreed to send him £100 to buy food and fuel.
Feb 1, 2019
Due to the changes in the retirement age, now many women having to wait much longer before they can claim their pension, women that are disabled are having to continue to claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) as an income replacing benefit. This lady, 64 years of age and living alone, was in receipt of ESA and PIP (Personal Independence Payments), however when her claims came up for renewal, she repeated her application but this time was turned down, found fit for work and taken off both claims, leaving her without any financial support. She applied for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) instead, but due to her being disabled was not able to fulfill the requirements of JSA and so the DWP cancelled her claim. She has been without any money since just before Christmas. She has been living off two small local authority grants and a food voucher since December 21st. The Welfare Rights team that are helping her are going to assist her to appeal the ESA decision and to get the pre-assessment rate of ESA benefits put back into place. This though takes time to do, as a sick note has to be obtained from the doctor and sent to the DWP and they then have to get the application processed before payment can be made. We agreed to send the lady £100 so she can have some money for food and fuel.
Feb 1, 2019
We were approached about a young mum of two boys, ages 5 and 3. She was previously in receipt of child and working tax credit, but had to switch over to claiming Universal Credit instead. This meant a break in her payments, resulting in her falling behind with her rent and some of her bills. She works 5 hours per week as a play assistant and is studying towards a qualification which will improve her employment options once she is qualified. She does not have access to a computer at home, so has to go to her local library and use the computers there to study. She received an advance on her Universal Credit payment (otherwise they'd have had nothing to live off), repayment for the advance is being deducted at source from her benefits, leaving her and her boys even less money. We advised our agents to encourage her to request to repay the advance over 12 months, so it lessens the monthly deductions. We also agreed to send her £100 to help her out in the meantime.
Jan 31, 2019
This mother of a six year is in employment, but for the past weeks she has not been given any shifts at work. She is in receipt of Universal Credit but is unable to cover her council tax bill, nor have any money for food or heating. She has been trying to find a better job where she can be guaranteed hours of work, but so far she has not had any success. Her mental health and anxiety are being exacerbated by the stress of her situation. She is not due another Universal Credit payment until the middle of February. We agreed to send her and her daughter £150 to cover the cost of topping up her energy meters and buying some food.
Jan 29, 2019
A family lost the father of the family and were renting a property from a relative of the family for a really low price. However the mother has now remarried and they have now been given an official eviction date. The mother is working, but she has depression and anxiety, and is also a recovering alcoholic. They are in the process of seeking alternative accommodation, and will when they move need a new bed, double mattress and a fridge freezer. The debt the family are in, including a large amount for council tax means they are unable to purchase what they need. However as the financial needs of the family are far beyond our fund's remit, we couldn't agree to buy these items for them, but we did agree to send them £100 to go towards the things they need.
Jan 25, 2019
The man in this situation had his own business and had been self-employed for some time. He had been struggling because his clients would take a very long time to pay him, the stress made him unwell and resulted in him having a stroke. He had to close his business down and has been in receipt of job seekers allowance. His adult son moved in with him for a time, but he has his own health issues, but his presence in the house have only made his debts far worse. He is now at a point where his debt repayment amounts are leaving him in a situation where he doesn't have enough money for food or to top up his energy meters. His house is freezing cold, and have little to no food is making things much worse. His health is just getting worse each day and he is due to have a blood pressure meter fitted this week, and his doctors are concerned his high blood pressure could trigger another stroke. He recently lost his partner to cancer, and his depression is spiralling. Our agents feel the best course of action is for him to apply for a debt relief order and they are prepared to help him apply for this. He needs though the funding to cover the cost of the application. We agreed to pay the £90 fee and sent an extra £30 so he can top his energy meters up.
Jan 25, 2019
We were approached by a doctor who has been treating a patient diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis has meant he has had to be on sick leave from his job as a care worker, and is in receipt of statutory sick pay. It is looking like his employers are wanting to make him redundant which is causing him a great deal of stress. As a result of the cancer he has had to have an above knee amputation, meaning his existing home was no longer suitable. The cost of moving to more suitable accommodation has brought up extra costs at a time when his income is seriously limited. We were asked if we could consider helping him and agreed to send him a grant of £100. Local agencies are helping him to determine how he stands contractually regarding his employment situation.
Jan 23, 2019
We were asked if we could help a single man in his 50s. He had been in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), but managed to get a part-time job doing some cleaning work. However this was causing him issues around his health so had to reluctantly give it up. His JSA had been reduced due to his working, and since having to give the job up the deductions were still being made, leaving him with nothing to live on. Our agents are trying to look into his claim and think he may have been sanctioned by the DWP, but as yet have been unable to ascertain this to be the case. He has had an emergency payment from his local council as well as food vouchers, and exhausted all resources local to him. We agreed to send him £100 so he can at least be able to buy some food and have money to top up his energy meters.
Jan 22, 2019
We were asked to assist a family, single mum of three children, where the teenaged daughter had been out of education for 15 months. The girl was now back in school, following support given to the family. However she is struggling because her Mum who is on Universal Credit is unable to provide her with a school blazer and some items of PE kit. The lack of these items is seriously impacting on this young girl's school experience. We agreed to send the family £75 so that they can buy the blazer for her and the other things she needs, so she feels more included.
Jan 22, 2019
A Mum of a young daughter was working part-time in a supermarket, 7.5 hours per week, claiming child tax credits, child benefit and some financial support from her ex partner. Struggling to make ends meet she applied for Universal Credit to top her payments up, but this brought her existing payments to a halt and she faces a long wait while her claim is processed. In the meantime her rent payments have fallen behind as her housing benefit was one of those that stopped being paid. Her landlord annoyed that the rent isn't being paid has been threatening the mum, causing her to become very concerned. She has been unable to go into work because she needs to put her daughter into the breakfast club at school, but without the money to pay for it, she can't access the scheme. Her bank account was a little overdrawn, £24, so we agreed to send her £125, to clear the overdraft and allow her and her daughter to have some money for food. Our agents are going to help her regarding the landlord situation as they are not allowed to threaten her like this and must follow the official route.
Jan 17, 2019
We were asked to help a young man whose benefits stopped being paid over the Christmas Period, he had been in receipt of Employment Support Allowance. He tried to make an application for Universal Credit, but due to his poor language skills, mental health issues and lack of a mobile phone this was not successful. He is unable to top up his gas and electricity meters due to not having any money, nor any money for food. We agreed to send him £75 to help him out until he can get his benefits claim sorted out.
Jan 17, 2019
Our case this time was a father of three children, twins aged 7 and a five year old. One of the twins is autistic and attends a special school. He suffers with anxiety and depression following the break down of his abusive relationship. The children currently live with their mother, who has mental health problems. The father has had the children staying with him several nights a month, but has had to tell the mother he is unable to as he cannot afford to heat his flat, nor heat the water so that the children are able to have a bath. His flat is rented and is currently heated by large inefficient storage heaters. He is desperately missing having his children and this is impacting negatively on his mental health. However the agencies that are helping him, such as his local foodbank are all reporting that he is engaging well and doing everything that is asked of him in an effort to improve his situation. We agreed to send him £100 so that he can top up his energy meters and be able to put the heating on.
Jan 16, 2019
We were approached by our agents, asking for us to help a man that is suffering with anxiety and depression. He is struggling to find work, due to him having a previous minor criminal conviction. He is in serious debt and this is only making his condition even worse. His home is very cold and due to debt relating to his energy supplier he is unable to live there and put the heating on, so he is currently staying with friends and family. We were asked if we could cover the cost of a Debt Relief Order, to the sum of £90 so that he can apply to have these debts resolved and hopefully have a fresh start with his finances.
Jan 14, 2019
We were approached about helping a single dad who has sole care of his two oldest children, and at the weekends care of his youngest two as well. Since taking on the care of the older children he has had to put in a claim for Universal Credit and he is really struggling to make ends meet. Our contact had been speaking to this man who said that he has nothing on his gas meter at all and 75p on his electricity meter. The house is cold, he is unable to heat it, nor does he have any money to be able to prepare a hot meal for them all. His next Universal Credit payment is not due for at least a week. We agreed that we would send over immediately £100 to go towards fuel and food.
Jan 2, 2019
Help was needed for a family that have taken on the 24/7 care and given space to their home to a 23 year old man, the son of the man of the house from a previous relationship. The boys mother had said that she could no longer cope and that he was now his fathers responsibility. The man has given up his job in order to care for his son, and this has impacted financially on the rest of his family, his wife and their new baby. The property they are currently in is too expensive for them to manage, so help is being given to help them move to somewhere less expensive, and will have enough room as the son needs a bariactric bed. The father is trying to do all he can to support his new family, and also his son who feels rejected by his mother. We agreed between us that we would send them £150 to help them out. We have since had reported back to us that the father has now had his benefits put into place, so hopefully things will begin to improve for the family.
Dec 22, 2018
We were asked to help a man who had lost his PIP (Personal Independence Payment) award. He successfully appealed it but it took a year to be heard and then although he'd won, he was waiting to be repaid the money he was due, dating back to when his PIP award was cancelled. Completely without money for Christmas he was really fed up as it meant even longer to wait. We offered him £50 to tide him over as finally found out that the payment to him from the DWP would be made on the 27th of this month.
Dec 21, 2018
A young man who had been street homeless for quite some time was finally offered a place to live, somewhere to call home. As he has been homeless for some time all he has are the clothes he was wearing, we were asked to help him with some money. Our agents had managed to secure some furniture and white goods for him, but he still needed bedding, saucepans, crockery, cutlery, towels, etc. He has made a claim for Universal Credit but his first payment won't be until after Christmas. We agreed we would send him £100 to help him get started on what he needs.
Dec 20, 2018
This case was a frustrating one. A young mother is trying to keep herself and her children afloat, working and being 'assisted' by Universal Credit. She has rent arrears, owes money to her family and to her childminder. She is paid minimum wage and has rent, etc to pay. She is supposed to be topped up by Universal Credit, but her payments are being cut because they say she is earning too much. She has tried to get some advice but isn't fairing too well in the area of the country she lives and ended up being given some advice printed off the Internet that she could have found herself. Our agent has helped her write an email to her local MP to get some help and support with her case with the DWP, because when she phoned them up and was on the phone for an hour, as soon as she said she wanted to lodge a formal complaint they hung up the phone on her. We agreed to send her £100, plus an extra £50 for the children.
Dec 19, 2018
We were asked to help a lady who lives alone but is struggling to manage financially. She is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, but has a number of deductions made from her payments because of utilities debts and repaying a social fund payment. This has left her being unable to cope financially, and she is additionally stressed with Christmas around the corner, as the children need clothes which she can't afford to get them, or any Christmas presents. Our agents are going to help her with the debt repayments to see if they can be reduced, but in the meantime we agreed to send £100 to the Grandmother, and an extra £50 to be used to buy presents for the three children, and maybe something for her daughter too.
Dec 17, 2018
We were contacted about a young woman, here in the UK on a refugee status. She was previously in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, but her payments stopped being paid. Our contacts attempted to help her apply for Universal Credit but were told as she is in full-time education now, UC would not be an option available to her. She is now unable to afford her rent, pay her bills or buy food. Our agents have organised food parcels and small amounts of money, and have approached the college, but all they can help with is a small travel grant. We agreed between us to send her £75 to allow her to buy some food and pay for some gas and electricity.
Dec 15, 2018
We were approached about a lady in her forties, living alone. She has many difficult health issues, and the constant cold is only making matters seriously worse. She has rent arrears as well as utilities arrears which are currently being deducted at source from her benefits payments. The DWP unexpectedly reduced her usual payment by £100, leaving her with just £10 until her next due payment in January 2019. Our agents are helping her to get the regular deduction amounts reduced, and to assist her with budgeting going forward, and apply for Personal Independence Payments. She has very little gas and electric left on her prepayment meters, so she will be over the holidays without gas and electric, without food, or both. Our agents are extremely concerned about her welfare over the holiday period. We agreed to help out by sending £150 but over three payments of £50.
Dec 13, 2018
Today we were featured in an article written by Frances Ryan in The Guardian newspaper, which you can read here. We are overwhelmed by the level of support from individuals that have stepped up to offer a donation to the fund, or to apply to become regular supporters. We are a group of volunteers that fit in what we do around the other stuff in our lives, such as families, our health, work, etc. so as such it is going to take us a while to be able to respond to you all. Rest assured we will do this because we know first hand how tough it is and how even the smallest amount can begin to make a difference in another person's life. We pride ourselves on our ability to act as quickly as possible.
Some people have been asking on the article if they can donate via another route other than Paypal. You can, by instructing your bank to make a direct payment to our bank.
Our details are as follows: Lloyds Bank plc, Sort code: 30-98-41 and Account Number: 72674060
If you would like to donate via Gift Aid, then please email: email@example.com
Once again, a big thank you to you all. With your donations we are going to be able to help so many more people in dire situations over the coming months.
Dec 11, 2018
Help was needed for a single mum of two children, one of whom is disabled. The mum is unable to work due to being ill herself and they exist on her Employment Support Allowance, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits. Her disabled son has recently had his disability claim denied which has left the mum unexpectedly very short of money. She is currently repaying a loan to the DWP and an overpayment of rent back to the local authority. (When benefits stop being paid for whatever reason, there is often a delay for housing benefit to catch up. When they do catch up, invariably it ends up that the claimant owes money back to the council. The claimant then has to fight to get the full housing benefit reinstated which can take weeks to be resolved.) Our agents are in the process of requesting that the regular repayment amounts to the DWP and the LA are reduced so that she can attempt to keep their heads above water.
The mum was in a predicament as she is unable to afford food and the growing children don't have winter coats to keep them warm either. We agreed to send her £80 to help her out with this.
Oct 26, 2018
We were approached to help a single man who has been off work because of a broken wrist. While he has been waiting for his Universal Benefit payments to begin he has been relying on friends, family and foodbanks, but he has exhausted these now. His first Universal Credit payment is not due for at least another week. He is in arrears with his rent and has other debts mounting up. Our agents are assisting him to deal with the debt, but he needed money in the meantime to be able to purchase food and put some money on his energy meters. We agreed to send him £70 to help him out.
Sep 27, 2018
Our help was asked for in respect of a man who is battling depression. He missed an appointment with the DWP and consequently the DWP have sanctioned his money and he was left with no money to cover his bills, which he now in debt with, nor any money to buy food. When our agent visited him, he was very tearful and feeling unable to cope, so they asked us if we could help him until he could get a claim for Universal Credit submitted. Our agents are taking him to his local CAB office next week to get the UC claim started and we agreed in the meantime to send him £100 to help him out.
Sep 24, 2018
We were approached regarding a woman who has recently lost her partner and is under serious stress at the moment, due to other issues beside this. With all this stress she missed an appointment with the DWP and as a result her money has been sanctioned and won't be back in payment for at least four weeks. She has some arrears regarding her rent and council tax, and no money to pay bills or buy food. We were asked if we could consider helping her out in the interim. We agreed to send her £100 to hopefully tide her over until her payments can restart.
Aug 15, 2018
A mother who lives with her 20 year old daughter has had her ESA sanctioned for four weeks. She is suffering with mental health problems and this has left her in a very difficult financial situation. Her daughter has a part-time job, working 12 hours a week, but this is the only income they have at the moment. She has applied for a hardship payment, and has been given a food voucher. Our agents are assisting her to apply for PIP, but in the meantime, until her sanction is lifted in September she is very hard up. We agreed to send her £100 to use to buy food and top up her energy meters.
Aug 14, 2018
We were asked to help out a young family that are struggling to the point where they only have £20 to pay their bills and provide food for the three of them for the next few weeks. The lady was previously claiming Employment Support Allowance as she is currently recovering from bowel cancer, when she notified the DWP that she was getting married they advised her to close her ESA claim. Her husband who has extreme OCD was a carer for his brother and able to claim Carers Allowance, but his brother has now moved to live with their sister, so he has had to close his CA claim too. There is a young child and currently all the receive is Child Benefit, and now finally child tax credits (they could have claimed this for the past four years but were never advised to do so, so didn't know they were entitled.) A new claim is being submitted for them as a couple, and applications are being made to get their bills sorted out. The man because of is OCD is constantly running the washing machine because of his extreme fear of germs. We agreed to send them £100 so that they can top up their meters and get some food in.
Jul 13, 2018
We were asked to help a French lady who has been living and working in the UK for a number of years. She served a short prison sentence and all her children were subsequently taken into care. She has been released and was allowed to sign on for Job Seekers for a number of weeks, but this was then stopped, along with her housing benefit because the DWP claimed she was not a UK national. Her housing benefit was successfully appealed, and they are now working to get the decision regarding her Job Seekers claim reversed. She has exhausted all the provison in her local area, so we agreed to send her £100 so that she has money to buy food.
Jul 12, 2018
It was brought to our attention that a lady who is chronically disabled, bed-bound and totally reliant on carers has had her benefits stopped. It seems that the system at the DWP defaulted to an old, (over 14 years old) address, which caused a change of circumstances and triggering a new claim. This means her Disability Living Allowance which was in payment has been stopped and she now has to apply for Personal Independence Payment instead. It is going to take some time to get this mess sorted out, but in the meantime we were asked if we could help her with some money so that she can hopefully cope until then. We agreed to send her £100.
Jul 11, 2018
A young man who has been on sickness benefits, for a condition that will never leave him, had a reassessment for his benefits and the DWP found him fit for work. His long term relationship broke down, leaving him in a deep depression. He has no money and is under threat of eviction from his home. His father had been helping him financially but can now no longer afford to do so. Things for this young man have become so bad he attempted to take his own life. Our agents are assisting him to submit a claim to his local authority as he has a nil income to get his housing benefit payments reinstated, they are also helping him submit a mandatory reconsideration to get his benefits restored. We agreed to send him £100 so he has money to buy some much needed food.
Jul 5, 2018
A young single mum has been released from hospital after having some serious treatment only to find that the renewal of her benefits has not been processed correctly leaving her without food, gas or electricity to provide for her and her three children. We agreed to send her and her family £100 so she could buy in some food for her and the children and top up her energy meters. In the meantime our agents are helping her resolve the mistake with her benefits claim.
Jun 30, 2018
We were approached about a young mum of a 2 month old who suddenly finds herself alone, after her partner has been inprisoned for the next four years. She is in receipt of Universal Credit which has been issued at half the amount it should be due to a clerical error at the DWP. They have acknowledged and accepted it is their error, however they are taking their time to resolve the situation and this young mum has been waiting some time. She is struggling to work out which bills to prioritise as this error has left her without even enough money to pay her rent, let alone buy a much need cot and pram for the baby. We agreed to send over £100 for her to use to cover food and energy costs for them both. Hopefully with the help of our agents the DWP will rectify this mistake as a matter of urgency.
Jun 29, 2018
A housing support officer contacted us about a man she'd been helping off the streets and into accommodation of his own. She'd successfully applied for a grant for some furniture and white goods, such as an oven and fridge, however he is without a washing machine. She asked if we could offer a sum of money so that he could put that towards the cost of a second hand machine. We agreed to send him £80.
Jun 28, 2018
A mum of two small children, one at school, and one not yet of school age as asked to attend Jury Service, which ended up being for 10 weeks in all. As she didn't have anyone to take care of the youngest child, or pick the oldest one up from school and then take care of them both, she asked her partner, who lives elsewhere to help her out with caring for them both. Someone took it upon themselves to report her to the DWP for having her partner live with her, presumably because they were seen at the house on a daily basis. In response to this the DWP suspended her benefits and she is due to attend a fraud interview with the DWP in early July. Our agents are helping her to put forward a case in argument of what has happened and to prove that her partner does not live with her. We agreed as this might take some time and there are three of them, to send over £150 to hopefully help keep them afloat until this decision can be overturned.
Jun 16, 2018
We were contacted urgently late in the day on a Friday to help a man who has an 11 year old son. The father has been helped to successful appeal and overturn a PIP decision, however the wheels at the DWP turn very slowly and he is still waiting for the PIP to be put back into payment. Being without the money means that he has no electricity as no credit on his meter, nor does he have any food. Our agents although they could get a food voucher for him, he wouldn't be able to use it until the following Monday, leaving them without all weekend. We agreed to help him and sent across £50 to tide him over until he could be paid or a food bank voucher got to him.
Jun 15, 2018
Our contacts asked us to assist a family this time. They are a mother and father, and two children, one 11 months and one born last month, but 7 weeks premature. The youngest child was born not properly developed, and was born without a fully functioning digestive system, so has to have a colostemy bag fitted until the child is old enough to have reconstructive surgery to address its needs. They are currently living in an emergency unit and don't have any spare money at all. They have been assisted to put in a new claim for Universal Credit, but that will take 4-6 weeks to be put into payment. They need to travel back and forth to the hospital and that costs money for bus fares, so the mother has been walking the long distance there with the children in a buggy, however the buggy is now broken and needs replacing which they can't afford. Our agents were concerned because the mother was considering a payday loan so she could replace the buggy and have some money for bus fares. We agreed to send across £150 to allow them to replace the buggy (with hopefully a preloved one to make their money stretch further) and have some money left over to pay for the bus. They should aslo be able to apply for an advanced payment of the Universal Credit, which will arrive sooner than the 4-6 weeks.
Jun 13, 2018
We were contacted as a matter of urgency by our agents who are assisting a man who will be 60 years old very soon. Back in December 2017 he was refused Employment Support Allowance, and apart from a couple of very small loans from his local authority and a few food vouchers has had nothing since then. He went to his local doctors and the staff there, donated items from their own lunches to give to him as he was in such a dreadful state. His doctors have prescribed him some supplements, as the lack of food has impacted severely on his health. His health issues, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmony Disease), mobility issues, depression and anxiety, as well as having issues with the mobility of his hands means that signing on to Job Seekers Allowance would not be suitable for him right now. He does not even have the energy to get to the soup kitchens that run in the city where he lives. Our contacts are helping him to appeal the ESA decision, but due to how long it takes for the cases to be heard, it could be several months before he gets a court date. Our agents felt this was such a desperate situation and asked for our help, which we agreed to and sent over £100.
Jun 6, 2018
We were asked to help a single mother who has been desperately trying to get her life back on track. She is currently in receipt of Universal Credit and is using that to take care of herself and her young daughter, but is struggling to make ends meet. Previously she worked as a carer and enjoyed doing that, but to be able to get employment in a similar field she needs to have a DBS (Disclosure and Baring Service Check) done, but cannot afford to do that herself so it is in place ready for being given a job. We agreed to cover the cost of that so that she can turn their lives around.
Jun 5, 2018
We were approached to help a young man whose benefits had been stopped, leaving him without any income. He has had an accident, which has meant numerous trips back and forth to the hospital for checkups to see if his leg can be reconstructed. Being without income means that he is unable to pay for taxis to get him there and home again. Our agents are helping him appeal the benefits situation, and we agreed to send him £100 to help him out in the meantime.
Jun 5, 2018
A disabled lady came to our attention because her oven had broken and was in need of being replaced. Her disability benefits payments are all used up trying to stay afloat with bills and food, etc. so she does not have the means to be able to replace the oven. Cooking in a microwave isn't a suitable option for her. We agreed to send her £80 so that she could put that towards a new oven, or buy a reconditioned oven. We know our agents are in touch with a local organisation that offers reconditioned electrical goods, so they will make sure she gets what she needs.
May 24, 2018
Our case today was for a man, sadly now widowed and lives alone. He has severe diabeties which has affected his eyesight causing cataracts to form in both eyes, and he has issues with his mobility. He is currently in receipt of Universal Credit and has been advised to apply for Personal Independence Payments, which they have done, but it will take several weeks before he is even assessed as suitable to claim. In the meantime he does not have any food, not does he have any spare money to put on to the meters so that he might have access to hot water. Our contact would normally offer him a food voucher to take to a food bank, but many of the tinned foods that he would be provided with would not be suitable for him to eat. We agreed to send him £80 so that he could resolve both these issues.
Apr 24, 2018
The lady in question, due to ill health had been unable to work for some weeks, months even. She has a daughter who was born with issues with her hips which have required surgery. The mother tried to claim Disability Living Allowance for the daughter but was unsuccessful as the daughter wants to live as normal a life as possible, so the DWP felt that the DLA payments weren't necessary. The woman has cared for her late mother who was diagnosed with cancer, then lost her brother too some weeks later, where he was also diagnosed with cancer. She has been struggling to stay on top of things and simply not making any success. We were asked to help by paying the Debt Relief Order so that they can get her debts under control, which they feel will remove much of the stress she is currently under.
Apr 20, 2018
We were asked to help a single man in his 40s who has been a victim of domestic violence, which he feels very embarrassed and very vulnerable about as a result. He left with nothing but the clothes he was wearing, the police and social services were involved, yet his ex partner destroyed all his clothes and belongings leaving him with only what he stood up in. He has secured a small flat which he is renting, but it is unfurnished and his benefits do not stretch to cover being able to purchase what he needs. He is currently in receipt of benefits because he has degenerative disc issues which means he is unable to work. He wants to be able to have his children visit him, but he has nowhere for them to sit, nor is able to prepare any food. We have signposted our agents to places in his area he can source preloved and donated items and sent across to him £80 so that he can use that money to buy some of the bits and pieces he needs. Hopefully he will be able to get hold of some bigger items from places that help the vulnerable with household items, as well as other places like Freecycle.
Apr 12, 2018
Our contact asked us to help a young man whose benefits were all stopped in January this year. Since then he has been without any money and relying on his siblings to provide him with enough food to just about survive. He is now being helped to get his benefits payments back into place, and to get the tenancy of his parents home transfered to his name, It is expected that his payments will begin again in two weeks time, but he has exhausted all the local support schemes, including his right to a voucher at the food banks. We agreed to send him £100 to keep him going until his money comes through.
Jan 8, 2018
It was an urgent request we received to help a man who has been long term homeless. He has been offered a home to move into but has absolutely no furniture whatsoever. Our agents have applied to the emergency fund with his local council to help purchase some items, but they wanted to know if we could help with some money to get him started. He is in receipt of ESA and PIP but has no spare money to purchase anything. We agreed to send him £100 and hopefully with that and the support of our agents he will be able to pick up some low cost items second hand on local selling sites.
Dec 21, 2017
We were contacted urgently about a man our agents have recently been helping. He suffers with very severe PTSD and has failed an ESA assessment. He's been existing on his PIP payment only each week, £55, to cover everything, but of course this is not going very far. He lives in sheltered accommodation, and is in dire straits so close to Christmas when the agencies close down. They are trying to get his ESA appealed, but know that it is going to take a long time. In the meantime they wanted some short term help as he has exhausted the support from his local area, and is too stressed to be able to claim JSA while he waits. We agreed to send across £100 to tide him over, and hopefully our agents will be successful in getting his ESA decision overturned.
Dec 3, 2017
We were approached about a lady that our contact had noticed online, posting about the fact that she has recently been sanctioned by the DWP, and also has had to deal with the fact that her home had been badly damaged by vandals. We agreed between us to send her £60 to spend on food and keep her ticking over until her sanction can be overturned.
Nov 13, 2017
We have worked with these agents before, and this time they brought to us a case where a young woman, 18 years old, who has just left the care system, has found herself without any money to survive on at all, not for food, anything. She put in an application for Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment, but has been told that the Department for Work and Pensions have lost her forms, and therefore she has to wait until they can be found and dealt with. She is a vulnerable person who has been left in a dreadful mess through no fault of her own. We agreed that we could send across £100, and our agents will help her manage the money, so she has enough to last her. We also advised our agents to apply to her local council for a welfare payment, which they are going to do. Unfortunately though, applications like these take a long time to be processed, the money agreed to, and released. This was an emergency situation and she needed help there and then, she could not wait. We were glad to be able to help her out.
Nov 1, 2017
We were asked to help a man that our agents had been told about by a service that operates out of the same centre as them. This gentleman has serious mental health issues, his benefit has stopped being paid and he is completely without food or any way of heating where he lives. This also means no hot water, and no way of cooking any food should he be given any from a food bank. It transpires that the DWP state they sent him a letter inviting him to attend an assessment, however as frequently seems to be happening, lots of people aren't receiving these letters. This man needs help to contact the DWP and get his payments reinstated, as he is unable to do this himself. We agreed to send him £70 to allow him to top up his energy meters and buy some food.
Oct 25, 2017
Our agents asked us about helping a man who wants to move nearer to his sister, following the death of their father. The move would be of great benefit to him, and he has been offered a place near to her, but in order to accept he has to pay the first weeks rent in advance. The trouble with this is that he is in receipt of Universal Credit, but due to DWP deductions he loses 40% of his benefits because this is clawed back, leaving him with barely enough to live on, let alone pay for a change of accommodation up front. Our agents asked us to consider making that first weeks rental payment for him of £87 which we agreed to do.
Oct 11, 2017
We received two cases in one day from the same agents. The first case was a young mum with a one year old daughter. She has fled a domestic violence situation with her daughter and ended up in a completely different area with very little in the way of personal belongings. The only way of cooking she has is to warm up ready meals in a microwave, which is not good for her or her daughter. She is currently at college, training for a career so that she can provide for her and her daughter in the future. We agreed to send to her £70 so that she could use that money to source a second-hand or reconditioned cooker in the area where she lives.
The second case was again a young mum, who had fled her previous tenancy with a newborn and ended up homeless. She has been sofa surfing with her young baby with various relatives and has finally, after a lot of hard work, been able to secure a flat for her and her daughter. She has very little in the way of belonging and has been living out of a suitcase. She needs a cooker and a washing machine, and the places our agents usually try for grants are not available at the moment, due to lack of funding. We agreed to treat this case the same and offer £70, and then she could choose which to buy, the reconditioned cooker or washing machine.
Oct 6, 2017
We were contacted this morning about a single mum who fled a domestic abuse situation. She and her son have been living in a refuge while they waited to be housed. When they finally were housed, her home needed some work doing on it, which has taken up almost all of her money and left her without any funds to pay for gas and electricity. We agreed we would send across £50 to keep her utilities topped up and to buy some food until she received her usual payment next week. Going forward our agents have offered to help her sort out the best energy option and how to improve the energy efficiency of her home.
Oct 3, 2017
This time we were asked about a woman, who suffers with depression and anxiety. This has meant that dealing with her mail was proving to be very difficult, to the point where in the hopes it would all go away, she tried to ignore it. Unfortunately that decision has now caught up with her and she is faced with being chased for repayment. Previous to March this year she was working and struggling to keep her head above water financially, but now she has been signed off work and is on Sickness Payments, her income has dropped substantially. She and her disabled daughter are struggling now to even buy food. Our agents are going to help her apply for a debt relief order, but they needed our help to fund the £90 necessarily to allow her to do this.
Oct 2, 2017
We were approached about a man in his early 30s who is desperately struggling to keep his head above water financially. He is in receipt of Universal Credit but has been sanctioned because he missed some appointments. He has severe mental health problems, which get in the way of him keeping his appointments. The property he is in is his first property in his own name, as he grew up in the care system, then was in supported housing of one kind or another. In his property he nly has a table and a sofa to his name. He lives alone, has no family to support him and was recently attacked by a gang which has only heightened his anxieties. He has rent arrears, debts and utiliity arrears too which our agents are going to help him try to get sorted out. They discovered he has had no money for two weeks, so has been unable to purchase any food, so all he has been living on is a box of Weetos per week, allowing himself two handfulls a day. Our agents sorted him out a food voucher, but asked for some money from us to help him. His bank account was £38 overdrawn, so we sent across £100 to cover his overdraft and allow him enough money to buy some food which will hopefully last him until they can appeal his sanction and sort his benefits payments out.
Sep 23, 2017
Details of our client today came to us via our agents who told us about this single mum with two children, her youngest, 10 years old is autistic and she was in receipt of DLA for him, plus carers allowance and income support. Her son's DLA came up for renew and the DWP decided that DLA payments were no longer necessary, so she lost that, the income support and the carers allowance, as well as the disabled child top up on child tax credits. This failure of the DLA impacts so many other payments and they have been without any benefits payments apart from basic child tax credit and child benefit since early August. She has had two welfare payments already from her local authority, and even though she has only 27p on her energy meters, her energy company is refusing to help her. Having exhausted all help in her local area, our agents turned to us for help. We agreed, as it was an urgent case, not coming to us until late on Friday, that we should send across £150 so she can top up her meters and get some much needed food into the house for the three of them.
Sep 20, 2017
We had a rather odd request. Our agent asked us if we could assist a man they are helping with £50 to pay for a letter from his doctor, stating his medical conditions and how they affect him so that the letter could be sent to the courts for his forthcoming tribunal hearing. Normally at a disability hearing a doctor has to be present, but this is not an ordinary tribunal, and one that a doctor is not routinely there because they don't normally consider medical needs at this type of tribunal. The young man, 26 years old has been diagnosed with MS, along with a whole host of other conditions. He had to be sent a good distance from his home for treatment, which he did, but he didn't react too well so was unable to travel home, let alone the further 15 miles from where he normally lives to attend the meeting. As he failed to show, they suspended/sanctioned his benefits, ignoring his medical situation completely that rendered him unable to be present. Our agents are very confident that this letter will allow the tribunal to understand completely his failure to attend, and will reinstate his benefits payments.
Sep 6, 2017
Our agents told us about the plight of a man they are working with. He was attacked so severely two years ago, that it left him needing a full facial reconstruction. He suffers PTSD as a result and is afraid to go outside and leave his home. He recently had his benefits stopped, leaving him without any income whatsoever. This is where our agents come in as they are helping him to appeal this decision. On their visit they noticed he had covered all the windows up with newspaper. He told them that he cannot afford any curtains, nor has any poles to hang them from. The newspaper gives him some privacy. He does though as a result, spend all his time in the dark. We were asked if we could provide him with some funds to purchase some basic curtains and curtain poles, as well as some net curtains. This will mean he could at least draw the main curtains during the day,but still have the net curtains to maintain his privacy, but have some light coming in. We agreed we would be happy to help with this request, and with the nights getting cooler, some curtains will be essential to stop heat loss.
Aug 18, 2017
This is the hardest group for agencies to source funding for, they are so far down the chain of needing help, with almost everyone coming before them. He had recently been housed, after a long time waiting, and temporaily houses in a hostel. We were asked to help them with purchasing some white goods, and they had a list of things they needed, as where he'd been moved to there was nothing there at all. We all agreed that we would send across £100 so that this young man with the help of his support worker, could try to source second hand items in the area that he lives so that he could get more for his money, plus it keeps things that are already in circulation out of landfill, so everyone wins.
Aug 10, 2017
We have been contacted in this past week by organisations that are working with individuals to resolve their issues, as in each case they have been sanctioned for failing to attend a meeting. This is an awful outcome as simply missing an appointment, such as a bus being late, a date being forgotten (also don't forget, if you have mental health issues, then getting yourself up out of bed is like fighting a daily battle, let alone remembering an appointment), or even worse the claimant not being notified of the appointment to even be able to attend it. The knock on from a benefit sanction is usually the housing benefit and council tax relief payments also being stopped, it just goes on and on leading eventually to the threat of eviction. People who are struggling to keep body and soul together then have to 1) become aware of the situation, and 2) find help. This is a further hurdle for many that struggle with social interaction, agoraphobia, or more. Our agents are now faced with trying to get these individuals benefits restored, as well as their housing benefit and council tax relief. In each case we sent £100 to help them out, to have money for food, and in one case some essential clothes, until their benefits are restored.
Jul 28, 2017
Our agent contacted us about a woman who frustrated with the lack of support in her area took it upon herself to fight her alcohol addiction. Doing this on her own meant that she missed an appointment with the Job Centre so they sanctioned her. This meant that her rent and council tax support also stopped being paid, the result of which is that she now faces eviction due to arrears of £320. As she was so ill due to the alcohol detoxing she was unable to seek support until now. Our agent has intervened on her behalf and sought assurance that if £200 could be raised would she be certain of being able to remain in her home. They will try to get some help with the rest from the council as it should have been possible for her to submit a nil income form to the council and have her rent and council tax covered, which would have prevented the arrears. We agreed to send over the money needed to allow her to keep her home. We didn't want to have her back out on the streets again, where it would be highly likely she'd be tempted by alcohol again, given how hard she has worked so far to get herself off it.
Jul 24, 2017
We were contacted about a young man that had been sanctioned on his Job Seekers payments because he failed to attend a Job Centre Interview, the reason he missed it was because he was in hospital. This meant his only source of income stopped so he was without money for food, gas or electric. We were asked for £60 to keep him going until his sanction could be reversed, and he can be transferred onto Employment Support Allowance, rather that Job Seekers.
Jun 15, 2017
Our clients today are a couple, he is disabled and requires constant care from his wife, they also have a 6 year old child to consider. He doesn't leave the house at all as he is bed bound, she only leaves the home when it is essential for her to do so. They have been maliciously reported to the DWP on two previous occasions, both times having their benefits payments stopped, and each time they faced a battle to get them reinstated. Now once again, the DWP have stopped their payments, without notice, as the payments failed to arrive in their bank account yesterday as expected. When the lady made a call to find out what was going on she had to attend her local job centre and sign paperwork confirming that she wasn't working from home. For the third time they had been maliciously reported, and the DWP wouldn't reinstate their payments until their investigations had been completed.
We instructed the lady to get the support of her MP to get this resolved as quickly as possible. Knowing this couple had been maliciously reported twice before, we are shocked and astonished that the DWP have accepted a third malicious report, despite the fact that they already know this couple's situation. We agreed to send across £100, which will hopefully allow them to purchase enough food to keep them going until their payments can be put back into place.
Jun 8, 2017
A man who'd had some hassle with the DWP, them believing there had been an overpayment on their part of his Employment Support Allowance, stopped all his ESA payments while they investigated. He was cleared of all the claims and found that an overpayment hadn't been made, yet they have still not put his payments back in place again. Recently he had to renew his claim for Personal Indpendence Payments and the DWP have made a mess of that, resulting in the only payments he had coming in also being stopped, leaving him with nothing. We agreed to send across to him £100 so at least he had some money to buy food, gas and electric until he could hopefully get his benefits reinstated.
Jun 6, 2017
Today, our person in need was a lady in her early 50s who had been messed around by the DWP, which had resulted in not only her Employment Support Allowance payments being stopped, but also her Personal Independence Payments too. This had left her with no money for two weeks now, and she was in a position where she literally had no money, nor any food in the house she could muddle by on. Contact with the DWP had not been helpful at all, with them pushing her from pillar to post. We found somewhere she could go to for help with getting her benefits reinstated, and also somewhere she could go to for mental health support too. We agreed to send across £100 as she needed money for her utilities, as well as food, and it could be another two weeks before she begins to receive any kind of payments through from the DWP. She commented that she'd never voted before, but she definitely will be this Thursday.
Oct 24, 2016
When a claimant fails to be awarded PIP, you'd think that might be a straightforward thing to happen, but not at all. You see an award of PIP entitles and leads the way to other benefits help, which when PIP is not awarded, they simply fall away. The lady in question, a double amputee, with a serious illness on top of that, had applied to transition from DLA, Disability Living Allowance, which she had been in receipt of for some years, to PIP, Personal Independence Payment, which the Government brought in to replace DLA. (There is no choice in the matter, once you are 'invited' to apply for PIP, you cannot choose not to do that and remain in receipt of DLA. Once your invitation date has passed, your DLA payments stop). Increasingly we are seeing more and more seriously ill and disabled people, dependent on specially adapted vehicles, as was the case with this lady, having their cars taken away from them. This for her means that as well as the money she'd come to rely on to survive, her means of getting out of the house will be gone, so she will become housebound. She is appealing that decision thankfully, but as it takes so long to be resolved, it is highly likely that her specially adapted car will have to go back before she can get this resolved. This week she and her family are being fed by her friends that have stepped up to help her, and next week it would be the foodbanks for help. We agreed to send her £100 so she could buy some much needed food and other items, for which she was extremly grateful.
Aug 12, 2016
An urgent case came to our attention. A man who, for half of his life had been a below the knee amputee, with heath complications connected to this. Despite letting the DWP know he wouldn't be able to attend a work capability assessment, they stopped his Employment Support Allowance claim, which left him with no money, and the knock on of this was his housing benefit and council tax relief claims also stopped.
With two children under 10 to feed and no money, he was trying to see if he could return his motability vehicle so he could have at least the money that went to pay that, for food instead. Doing this though would mean he couldn't get around so well, and would struggle to get the children to school.
His gas and electric were on prepayment meters, so there were no debts associated with them, however there was nothing on the gas card, so they were without hot water. As all this had happened with such short notice he was unable to prepare for it financially, so the bank were returning direct debit payments and debiting his account with bank charges instead. Although as it is such a hand to mouth existance, it is almost impossible to have any sort of a financial buffer to deal with these kind of emergencies. So we sent over £200 to buy food, put money on to the gas card and fuel in the car. He was so grateful, and insisted that when he was able to, he hoped to pay the money back to the fund so that it can be used to help someone else.