Oct 30, 2018
We were asked to help a mother of four children, aged 1 to 11. One of the children is on the autistic spectrum with Aspergers. The mother has recently finished a degree which has now led to a full-time job. However she and her children have been living in temporary accommodation for some time now and are about ready to move to a permanent home. While she was at University she had a student loan and when she finished she was able to claim housing benefit and income support. She correctly told the local authority she was starting work and she was aware she would no longer be entitled to claim housing benefit, but asked for a run on of her benefits payments. Unfortunately because she wasn't claiming income support for the 26 weeks prior, this was against the rules and her housing benefit and income support were immediately stopped. This caused arrears of the rent at her temporary accommodation and the knock on of this is the inability to move to the permanent accommodation with rent arrears. There is a history of domestic violence within the family and the children have to travel some distance to schools, so understandably this lady is keen to move and get the children settled. We were initially asked to clear the arrears and provide some extra for moving costs, however we had to point out we are only a small charity relying on the goodwill of others so would be unable to provide such a large amount. We did agree between us though that we would send her £100 to be used to buy food and put some money on to the energy meters so that they could at least stay warm in the meantime. Our agents are assisting them with the arrears and getting those resolved so that she and her family can move.
May 28, 2018
We were asked to help a single man who is seriously struggling to manage financially, on top of suffering with mental health issues. He is in debt with his landlord and has been giving extra money to them, leaving himself without money for food. Our agents suspect there is an issue with this man's housing benefit, which they are hoping to be able to resolve, however the stress of the money owed to his landlord has resulted in him self-harming, and our agent was on the phone to him waiting on an ambulance to take him to A&E, while we were reviewing his case. We agreed to send him £60 to allow him to buy some food and top his phone up a little, as this is his link to the outside world.
May 10, 2018
Our agents contacted us about a family that are currently living in one of their homelessness shelters. The family unit are a single mother and three children. Four years ago the mother, who had previously been supporting herself and her children on her own, sufferent a serious accident which left her with severe mobility issues. The two older children care for their mother, and one of the children attends a school three miles away from where they have been housed. She had a bicycle which she used to cycle to and from school on, but it was stolen from the communal area at the previous shelter they were staying at as there was no space to keep it in the room they were staying in. The daughter is walking the three miles at the moment to and from school as well as caring for her mother before and after school as well and this is causing distress for the family. We were asked if we could contribute towards a replacement bicycle. We agreed to send across £50 so that they can find a second hand replacement on one of the local selling sites, as well as a padlock to keep it secured when it isn't being used.
May 10, 2018
Today we were asked to help a mum, mother of two children, one in her late teens who has a learning disability and a nine year old. She is in debt, which is aggravating her anxiety and depression as she feels she can't see any way out. She is having problems with her payments and is currently without any money, due to her rent payments being over the threshold for housing benefit so she has to find the shortfall somehow, which she is struggling to do. She is not due another benefits payment until the end of this month and currently is without money for food, etc. We agreed to send her £100 to last her until her next benefits payment. Our agents are going to support her with budgeting and applying for a discretionary housing payment.
Apr 25, 2018
We had a very difficult case to deal with this week. We were asked to help a lady who was seriously sexually attacked as a very young child. Her home life was not good at all, and when she was 16 she witnessed her father commit suicide which left her extremely traumatised. Years later, after the birth of her son, she was diagnosed with mental health problems, and it was agreed that she has probably suffered with this for almost all of her life.
Two years ago social services became involved when she was terrorised by a group of young men, friends of her neighbour. Their antisocial behaviour caused her to attempt taking her own life as she felt unsupported and had no one to help her. Fortunately she was found and taken to hospital. She is a very vulnerable person, who is easily taken advantage of. Her supposed friends ran up debts in her name, leaving her to foot the bill which she cannot afford to do. Given her mental health issues and how stressed she became in the past over things we were asked to hlep by paying the cost of the debt relief order for her, so that these debts that are of no fault of her own can be sorted out.
NB It might seem that we are helping a lot of people out in this way just recently, but debt is a crushing concern. Someone could be working and paying all their bills without worry, but then something happens, through no fault of their own, a car accident, illness, bereavement, job loss, redundancy, and suddenly it all comes crashing down like a house of cards around them. Being on benefits is not the breeze you might see portrayed in the media, there are people that are living a hand to mouth existence, sometimes regularly missing meals, or going without heating their homes. So having that bit extra to cover a bill becomes unachievable. You miss the first payment, its okay, you'll catch up, but you are already on a slippery slope. When people are faced with the decision of do they spend £10 on food for the week or send that money off to chip away at a bill, then you can see the dilemma and just how crushing debt can become. So to help out this way can in some cases mean quite literally the difference between life and death. So every penny you donate to us, is being used to help people in desperate need, for which we warmly thank you.
Apr 3, 2018
These cases don't happen very often, or like today they come all at once. This case was a young mum who was left on her own in serious debt by her partner just after their baby was born. She has been suffering with post natal depression and the amount of debt is emotionally and mentally crippling for her. Our agents have said that she could spend her entire life trying to pay this debt off, which was all taken out in her name, so there is no recourse to the partner unfortunatley. She is currently in receipt of employment support allowance as she is not well enough to work. We agreed to cover the fee to allow her to begin to rebuild a life for her and her child.
Mar 21, 2018
Our help was needed this week for a young man that following the death of his parents some years ago, he has fallen into debt with his rent because of the bedroom tax, he also has a debt company chasing him which is causing great concern. He is trying to exist on £73.10 per week and this isn't even touching his bills. He has become quite reclusive since his parents died and has cut off contact with almost everyone. Unfortunately his rented accommodation has fallen into disrepair and his landlords are housing him elsewhere while his property is repaired. Our agents are helping him by applying for some grants to try to help with his rent going forward and asked us if we could cover the cost of a debt relief order, so that this man could have this debt sorted out. We agreed to do this.
Feb 24, 2018
Our agents contacted us to ask if we could help a lady that has succeeded the tenancy of her mother's property, following her mothers death. There was a lot to sort out at the property as the mother had been a hoarder and so it was necessary to get some remedial work done before our client could move in. She has found that there is a debt on the energy meters that relate to standing charges, amounting to almost £40, so she is afraid to top the meters up as the energy company have said they will take the amount owed all at once from whatever amount she uses to top up until the debt is cleared. She is afraid to top up as she can't afford to lose all that money at once, so is sat in the dark and cold. She also suffers with epilepsy and mental health problems, which this situation is only making worse. We agreed to clear the debt for her and sent over some extra money for her to use to heat up her home.
Dec 24, 2017
This week we helped a family out, who through no fault of their own they have had a very rough year. The mother had to give up her job when she fell il during her pregnancy, then following an emergency cesarean her husband had to take time off work to help take care of her and their family. They have had a succession of issues through the year with things going wrong resulting in unexpected costs. The Mum is quite thin and struggling to cope, so we agreed we would send them £100 to help them out to buy some decent food in and hopefully have a better Christmas than the one they were facing.
Dec 6, 2017
Our agents wrote to us about one of their clients they are supporting who has a large amount of debt, and might even have to file for bankruptcy. She is a single mum of two children, one 3 and one 8 years old. The oldest childs bed has broken, and is falling apart, mostly because it is only suitable for a toddler. We were asked if we could consider contributing towards the cost of a new or second hand bed, so that the child could have a bed to sleep in, as obviously not sleeping properly will impact negatively on her health. We agreed to send her £100 to put towards the cost of a bed.
Nov 29, 2017
We were contacted about a lady who is living in accommodation which is in a terrible state. She needs to move, but because she is in so much debt it is not likely this can happen. Our agents requested that we offer to fund the £90 needed for the debt relief order so that she can have this put in place, as she is unable to afford this herself. We agreed to send over £150, so an extra £60 for food and essentials.
Nov 4, 2017
We were asked to help a disabled lady, in receipt of Employment Support and Disability Living Allowances. She is in so much debt and will be highly unlikely in the future, given her situation, to be able to repay these. So our Agent are hoping to help her apply for a Debt Relief Order, so get the debt written off. What is holding her back though is that she is unable to save the £90 fee to be able to apply for a DRO. They asked us if we would consider sending a cheque on her behalf so that she could move forward with this in her life, and remove this huge burden for her. We were happy to do this, and a cheque was sent out. Hopefully, she will soon be able to have some relief from all this stress in her life.
Oct 27, 2017
A couple, both with learning difficulties and health conditions, were offered a bank overdraft, but they didn't understand quite what an overdraft was, and spent money, believing it was theirs, only to find it wasn't and they were now in a lot of debt. They have been working with our agents to find a way out of debt, and remain in touch to stay out of debt. Our agents told us that the couple's daughter, who also has learning difficulties, desperately needs a single bed. The couple are not in the position to be able to purchase one for her, and are afraid of getting into debt again, plus they are struggling now their child tax credit and child benefits payments have stopped. We agreed we would send across £100 as a contribution towards a bed for her.
Oct 27, 2017
Our agents contacted us urgently about a lady they are helping. She has two part-time clenaing jobs, and despite working hard, she has a great deal of debt and trying to pay these back is meaning she is unable to actually buy essentials like food, etc. Our agents have advised her to make an application for a debt relief order, but she is unable to exist financially at the moment, let alone save for the £90 fee in order to apply. As this would be a life changing event for her to apply for the DRO, we agreed to send across the £90 to her so she can get this progressed as soon as possible.
Oct 24, 2017
We were approached to see if we could possibly consider helping a couple who did not have a bed and were forced to sleep on the floor, without even a mattress. The wife works, in a situation where she helps others, extremely less fortunate than herself. They are in a huge amount of debt and unable to spend any money on a bed, and even if they come into any extra money she prioritises it for the debts first. Our agent wanted to arrange for a bed to be purchased on their behalf and delivered. (Our Agent knew any money we offered, they'd put straight to the debts. The lack of a bed, and lack of sleep, was seriously affecting the mental health of them both). The husband hasn't worked for five years as he suffers with extreme agoraphobia, and even the idea of a bed being delivered was sending him into extreme anxiety. Our agent managed to find a well priced bed frame, mattress, and a bottom sheet for them, and using discount codes got the price reduced to £192.91 including delivery on a day and time of their choice.
Feb 9, 2017
We were approached about a young man, who had previously been street homeless but was now in accommodation, safe and dry. However, his crippling depression and anxiety moved in with him and things have got on top of him. His finances had got out of control and after paying his bills, his remaining money was sucked up by his bank overdraft, leaving him and his dog without food, or any money for the gas and electricity meters. We agreed to send across a sum of £80 to allow him to top up his meters and buy some much needed food. Also, he was supposed to have been previously supported in terms of financial budgeting, but this will now be taken over by a new agency that will fully support him going forward.
Feb 5, 2017
We were approached via an agency about a man in his 30s who had been self employed but had had to give up work last year when his work began to dry up. He somehow managed to exist by taking out loans to provide some money to live off, but they were now writing to him constantly, seeking repayments which he was unable to meet. He was already suffering with anxiety and depression, and the constant worry of debt was only serving to escalate that. He had been advised to arrange a debt relief order which the agency were helping him with but he was unable to push that forward without the £90 it costs to put a debt relief order in place, as the Universal Credit payments he receives do not allow enough money to do that. We agreed we would send a cheque to cover this amount so that this man could then begin to focus on getting his life back on track and be well enough again to be able to return to work.