Dec 20, 2018
Help was requested for a mother of two children. She had fled a domestic violence situation and had had to move to a completely new area of the country to feel safe. Leaving everything behind them, bar what they could carry, the local council where she was moving to covered the cost of getting them there and they've been housed in an empty property. Her health worker has purchased a kettle and a toaster for them, and they have a toddler bed for the two year old. The other child is sharing a bed they've been loaned with her Mum. The area she has moved to has Universal Credit in place, so she's had to submit an application for that, which will have a knock on effect on the payment of her benefits. We were asked to help her with some money so that she can buy a bed for her eldest daughter and any other things she might be able to pick up cheaply secondhand. We agreed to send her £150 and an extra £50 for the children to ensure that their first Christmas in their new home has some Christmas cheer.
Nov 20, 2018
Our agents are an organisation that works directly with homeless people, and the case they brought to us this time, is of a mother and two children, 14 and 8 years old. They had fled to the city, away from a domestic violence situation and had arrived with nothing but the clothes and belongings they were able to take with them. The support worker had managed to get them into emergency accommodation and finally into temporary accommodation in the city. She has arranged via local organisations to get them some furniture, such as beds and a sofa and a box of items for the kitchen, but they don't have access to a fridge or a cooker, and are currently keeping food chilled in a bowl of cold water. We agreed to send them £80 to use as they see fit, to buy food or put towards getting a second-hand cooker or fridge. We also referred them on to one of the bigger charities that do take longer to give an answer, but they do offer larger amounts of money than we are able to.
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.
Oct 29, 2018
We had an emergency request which we have been dealing with over the weekend (being volunteers working from home this does mean we work over the weekends on occasions). The request was made on behalf of a single mum of four children, ranging in ages from 5 to 15. All of the children have behavioural issues and she herself suffers with chronic depression. She has been in a string of abusive relationships, the first one began when she was only 14 years of age. Two years ago, with the help of a keyworker from a local children's centre, she left her last abusive relationship and took the children with her. She now finally has a place to live, but still has debts relating to her accommodation which she is struggling to deal with. Over the weekend she was without money because although she works 16 hours a week as a cleaner, last week it was half-term so she was unable to work as she had no childcare. Her support worker is assisting her with this going forward so she doesn't face this problem again. Her immediate problem that we were asked to help with was her inability to heat the home or buy food for herself and the children. We agreed to send her £80 to clear the energy debt, £20 to add to the meters so she could use her gas and electricity, and £50 to buy some food. Her local council have agreed to help her by paying some of the outstanding rent amounts directly to her landlord. Our agent contacted us later that day to let us know how much of a help this was and she was confident that this had been a huge boost for her.
Oct 12, 2018
A lady in her forties, fled her home following domestic violence. She was offered a place in a refuge and stayed there for ten months before she was finally offered a single bedroomed flat of her own. She has obtained some items of furniture via a local charity, such as a bed and has managed to buy some bits and pieces herself, however she is without a washing machine. She has issues with her skin and all her clothes need to be washed thoroughly and she is struggling to do this by hand. We agreed to send her £80 to put towards getting a preloved washing machine.
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 3, 2018
This case is a sad one, the lady in question has fled her home following sustained domestic violence. She is now living in a small flat, but as her partner was the wage earner of the household, she has been forced to apply for benefits. There is such a long lead in time before any payments are issued she has had to apply for an advance, which she has been supplied a small amount by the DWP, but this has gone to feed the meters for gas and electricity. She is going to have to wait for some time yet before proper payments can be put in place and has been relying on food vouchers so she can have something to eat. We agreed to send her £100 to keep her going until her payments are made.
Jan 31, 2018
The Police, has had to remove a lady and her daughter from their home, following a domestic violence situation, perpertrated by one of her twin teenaged sons. They were moved into a B&B and then into a refuge for their safety. Unfortunately just before this happened the mother had settled some overdue bills at the house, paid back a loan and did a large shop for food. Her Universal Credit payment had covered that, but she now suddenly had no money to cover the transport costs to get the child to college, and has to walk 3 miles from the refuge to the home to take food to the second twin. We agreed to send her £50 to help cover the fares for her and her son.
Jan 15, 2018
We were made aware of a single mum to two children, a three year old and a four month old. She has been literally starving herself, so that she can make the little amount of food she has available to her children. She now has no money for gas or electricity or any food. She usually budgets really well, but as with many people in January she finds it a very long month.
She tried to make Christmas good for the children, as their father has now been imprisoned for domestic violence towards the mother, but it has backfired as she now finds herself struggling so much. We agreed to send her £100 to allow her to buy some gas, electric and some food for the three of them.
May 27, 2017
Our client was a single mum with three children that had fled a domestic violence situation in order to keep her and her children safe. She had been moved into temporary accommodation which was not ideal, so an agency had helped her secure the possibility of better and more suitable accommodation, but she would need to find £500 deposit. The landlord was willing to work with her and allow that amount to be paid over the next six months. She could budget for some of that, but not all of it. We agreed to pay £200 directly to the landlord to get her started, leaving her to find £50 a month over the next six months, which she agreed she would be able to do.