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 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.
Dec 11, 2018
We sent £30 to help a man out who was struggling with the cold as he was unable to afford to put his heating on in his home. He is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, and was receiving Personal Independence Payment, which topped up his ESA and is to help you to try to live as normal a life as possible. He lost his PIP a year ago and has been waiting since then to have his case come up at a tribunal so the decision can be challenged. He is on a pre-payment meter for his gas and electric and they are too expensive to run, so when he has the money he puts on a small portable radiator, but even that he hasn't been able to afford to use. His home being constantly cold is negatively impacting on his already failing health.
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.
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.
Jan 9, 2018
We helped out a family yesterday, a single parent mum and her two children. The mum is unable to work and is in receipt of disability benefits, and not in a financial position to buy a much needed bed for her oldest child. A brand new mattress had been purchased for them by another organisation, however they were still without a bed frame. The children are considered to be quite vulnerable, the reasons for which we cannot go into here. We sent them across £80 to use towards the cost of a bedframe. If they are fortunate, they might be able to pick up a good one second-hand and have some money left over for something else.
Dec 29, 2017
We were contacted by an outreach worker, who is supporting a man who has been homeless for the past four months. He is now in supported housing and it has been noticed that he does not have much in the way of clothing, and most of it is torn. He is 6'4" tall, and so therefore finds it difficult to get clothing, even second hand, and only has what he used to wear when he worked on construction sites. He is now in receipt of benefits and unable to afford anything spare to afford any new clothes, so our agents approached us to help him with a clothing grant. We agreed to send him £75 to buy some new clothes.
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.
May 24, 2014
Gosh, it’s been a while since we wrote one of these! While we’ve not been writing, though, we’ve not been idle.
Here is a story from each month this year so far that touched our hearts.
Mrs W’s son had his JSA sanctioned – because he had just been diagnosed with cancer and missed an appointment, despite calling them beforehand to explain that he couldn’t attend. Sadly his cancer spread and, on advising the job centre that he was now receiving intensive chemotherapy, they took him off JSA and said he wasn’t entitled to anything else, leaving him with nothing for over a month – over Christmas, no less. He was later helped to fill in an ESA claim, which was still pending when we found his mum. We gave him £120 to tide him over until his income was reinstated, as well as offering our usual practical support.
Ms S, a disabled lady on basic benefits who was very good at budgeting them, fell foul of an internet scam, which took funds from her bank account without permission (we asked for more details, and this was something any one of us could have been taken in by). The bank were looking into it, with a view to refunding her in time, but her bills were about to go out by direct debit the next day, leaving her overdrawn with bank charges on top if that happened. She had already gotten excellent advice on fraud and contacting the bank from friends, so we sent her £100 to cover the shortfall in her bank, with a little extra to show that not everyone on the internet is a bad egg.
D was sanctioned for not doing enough on his work search. He was actually doing more than the law requires. His girlfriend W suffered the same fate the following month. Because they didn’t know about the nil declaration for Housing Benefit (and no-one at the Job Centre bothered to tell them) they fell into £1500 rent arrears with the threat of court. W was terrified of court and brought to tears by the thought of it. One of our agents assisted with the Nil income housing benefit claim, which cleared most of the rent arrears. We gave them a gift to clear the rest in full.
Mr J, a disabled man with a young child, was found fit for work. His ESA was stopped, leaving him and his son with only £20 a week to live on. We sent him £100 so he and his son could be well fed for a few weeks. Another good job jobbed.
Ms D was very concerned that her son, who has mental health problems and physical disabilities, would join the ever growing list of suicides linked to welfare reform. His ESA was stopped for over a month and a reconsideration turned him down, saying his conditions did not qualify, even though he was often unable to care for himself and suffered from hallucinations and delusions. We put him in touch with practical help, and gave a gift of £200 to assist with a backlog of bills and rent that were stacking up, giving him some space to get the help he needs, and his mum some peace of mind.