Aug 14, 2019
We have brought to us cases which are really quite desperate, but this is one of the saddest cases we've had in a little while. The mother of the family organised all the finances, ran the bank account, etc. It was all in her name. Sadly she has died suddenly leaving her husband to pick up the pieces and sort out their benefits. He had to obviously register the death, but without realising hadn't checked properly at the time as he was so distraught, that his wife's date of birth had been lodged incorrectly. In order to sort the benefits out properly, and housing benefit, etc, the certificate has to be correct, for which he faces a charge, plus the cost of a replacement certificate, totalling over £100. He has nothing, no money and is currently caught between a rock and a hard place. Without the money to get the certificate altered he cannot have his benefits adjusted and access any money. Also the child benefit for their teenaged daughter who is still in full-time education is in his wife's name. Add to all of this misery his wife never worked, so he is unable to access the bereavement support payment. He says ' I’m on the floor: I don't how I'm going to feed her' (his daughter). A dreadful situation to be in. He hasn't money to resolve this situation, nor money to feed them both. To add insult to injury he doesn't even have a bank account in his name, so at a time when he might be grieving he has to get all these things sorted out. Between us we agreed to send the family £200 so that the certificate situation can be resolved and they can at least buy some food (thankfully the daughter has an active bank account to receive the funds).
Jul 15, 2019
A grandmother was burgled and her handbag and car taken among other items. She has had to have all her bank cards cancelled. The grandmother has her grandson living with her, and as a family are in receipt of benefits. She has no access to any money, as the little she had was in her purse when it was stolen. They are without money for food or to top up their energy meters. We agreed to send them £80.
May 1, 2019
A young woman with significant learning difficulties lives at home with her parents whom she is dependent on, both financially and practically. Last week sadly her father died, and the following day her mother was admitted to hospital following a haemophilic stroke. The young woman because of her personal situation is unable to claim for any benefits in her own name, and is completely without any money to be able to get to and from the hospital to visit her mother. Our agent, the young woman's assigned social worker asked us if we could help her financially in the short term, while they sort out things at their end and get some help for the family. We agreed to send the young woman £100.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Nov 21, 2018
We were asked to consider helping a lady who is really struggling to stay afloat. She was working, but the place she was working at closed down and the difficulties in finding a new job are really getting to her, knocking her confidence and self-belief. Her husband does work, but it is very low paid, and one of their children is in and out of psychiatric care which is causing her added stress. Between us we agreed to offer her £50 and someone close to her was going to take her shopping to buy some food. She is a very proud person , and we knew that if we offered the money directly to her she would refuse the help.
Nov 1, 2018
A couple which have applied for pension credit, have had their benefits affected negatively since they were granted leave to stay back in July. They are still awaiting the outcome of the pension credit claim and have been without any income since July. They have had two grants from their local authority and food parcels from the local food bank, but their gas and electric bills are mounting up and the lack of any income is having a devastating impact on them both. We agreed to send them £100 to help them out. Hopefully the Pension Service will be able to sort the issues out quickly for them.
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.
Oct 11, 2018
Our client in this case was a woman who had had all her benefits stopped, which meant she no longer had any money for gas or electricity so was staying with a friend. She's not long ago had a hip replacement, and because of this had let her own home slide and is in need of some help and support. Our agents are helping her to resubmit her benefits claims, but it will be at least two weeks before she receives any money. We agreed to send across £100 to help her and our agents were going to supply her with a food voucher.
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.
Sep 10, 2018
We were made aware of a man that was posting on social media to say that he was existing on a very meagre diet and struggling from one benefit payment to another, unable to buy anything but the absolute minimum. We contacted him and arranged for £40 worth of groceries to be sent to keep him going.
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 2, 2018
This case was brought to us because our contacts needed help for a man they are helping, a former alcoholic. His partner died two weeks ago and he has been struggling to cope with the breavement and also staying on top of his need to drink. He is supported by an outreach project and is travelling there everyday, taking a day at a time to stay on top of things. The cost to get there is seriously eating into the money he has available and following the funeral things are seriously going downhill. He also suffers with depression and anxiety and has applied for PIP (Personal Independence Payments) as he is already in receipt of Employment Support Allowance. We agreed to send him £150 to keep him going, as the application for PIP will take at least 8 weeks to get sorted, and he is currently paying £17 a week for a bus pass which he is using daily to get to his alcoholism support group.
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.
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 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
We saw a call out on Social Media for a homeless man that had absolutely hit rock bottom. An outreach group had been helping him, and sufficient money had been raised to cover the cost of a deposit and the first weeks rent of a bedsit. However, despite that, he has absolutely nothing to take with him when he moves in, no plates, cups, a kettle, something to cook in, etc, etc. We discussed this between us and agreed to send over £85 to the people that were organising this on behalf of the man, as a contribution to be used to get some things together for him. Hopefully his benefits payments will soon be in place for him.
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.
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.
May 9, 2018
Our case this time is a young mother of a 10 month old toddler, who has recently found herself single. She was on her former partner's claim for benefits and as a result is currently without any income. She has submitted a claim in her own name, however this will take some time before it comes into payment. She was hoping to return to work, but sadly the depression and anxiety keeps her a prisoner in her own home, and even if she found suitable employment the costs of childcare as well as all her other outgoings would make that prohibitive. We agreed we would send her £100 to tide her over until her payments could be received.
Apr 30, 2018
The request we received was to help out a man who is currently homeless. Being homeless he is entitled to a free dental check which he visited a dentists for, however he did not realise that the dentist was a private one and not an NHS practice, which meant he found himself responsible for a charge of £25.50. We were approached for help with paying this, which we agreed to do.
Apr 7, 2018
We were approached and asked to help a mum of two children. She suffers with depression and has recently been refused ESA at an assessment earlier this year. She is now existing on her child tax credits and child benefits payments only which are not stretching far enough, so has been borrowing from friends and relatives with no spare cash to be able to pay that back. Our agents are helping her to request for this decision to be reconsidered, and also that her housing benefit be put back into payment before she falls too deeply into rental arrears. She doesn't feel mentally able enough to claim job seekers allowance, but our agents are going to help her with this, because it will take a long time for the application to have the ESA decision overturned. We agreed to send the family £100 so that they can buy some food and to help with gas and electric.
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.
Mar 8, 2018
We were approached about a young woman, who found herself in a situation where she was married at 17 and forced into a belief system that wasn't her own. When she fell pregnant with her daughter, he husband walked out and left them both, leaving them in debt. Her daughter is now two years old and doesn't have a bed to sleep in as the bed in their property was damaged by mould through no fault of their own. She is currently searching for employment but finding it difficult to manage. We were asked to help contribute towards the cost of a bed and mattress for her. We agreed to send over £150.
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.
Jan 5, 2018
Our client is a young man, just shy of his 18th birthday who is currently living in a halfway house. He is estranged from his mother who is an Heroin addict, and he is currently unable to claim any benefits, and does not have have food. We recommended that the young man be supported to make a claim for benefits under exceptional circumstances which he is able to do, as he is under 18 and living away from home through no fault of his own. We agreed to send him £50 to enable him to purchase some food as any claims will have a period of waiting where no payments are made, so he would be without, claiming or otherwise. Once he is 18 he will be able to claim the benefits he needs to help him, withot it being under exceptional circumstances..
Jan 3, 2018
We were approached about a lady, a single mother to a young lad who has Cystic Fibrosis. She herself suffers with mental health and mobility issues, which have become much worse following the breakdown of her relationship with the boy's father, resulting in her becoming suicidal. She tried to make sure that her and her son's first Christmas alone would be a good one, but this has backfired as she has no money for gas or electricity or food. Professionals working with her have become very concerned about the state of her mental health and her long term welfare. We were asked if we could contribute something to allow her to buy some gas and electricity. We agreed between us that we would send across £150 to help them both out, allow the purchase of some energy to heat the house, and some essential food. Our agents commented that when they told her she'd taken to her bed in an effort to try to stay warm, but was really grateful for the offer of help.
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 20, 2017
Our client was brought to our attention by our agents. He is a single father, following the death last year of his wife, when she was killed in a road traffic accident, having walked out in front of a lorry. He has two sons, both of whom are disabled, and as young adults, the child benefit and child tax credits have now stopped being paid. Both boys are unable to work, due to their disabilities, so he has put in an application for Employment Support Allowance, but that is goint to take some time to be processed. Everyone in the house is very down, and the boys are understandably missing their mum, but they are equally concerned about their father, who is depressed, overwhelmed and crying. The house was freezing cold when our agents visited them, and this was due to them being unable to put any money on the cards to pay for any gas or electricity. The prospects for their Christmas do not look good.
We agreed between us that we would send over £250 as there are three adults that need help. Hopefully they'll be able to put the heating on, buy some food and be able to cook some meals. An offer of hope at a desperate time, which without you all donating to us regularly we would not be able to do, so thank you.
Dec 18, 2017
We spotted on social media a lady asking for help. She had just found out that her child tax credits had been stopped by tax credits as they claim they believe there has been an overpayment. She has been asked to complete a form and they have said they will look into it in the next few days, but have suggested she might have to wait without any child tax credits until April next year. This has left her without money to buy any of the food for next week including Christmas dinner, the stopping of the tax credits had been unexpected so she wasn't prepared. What makes things worse is that the child she claims tax credits for is diabetic. We agreed between us to send the family £100 so that they can then make the necessary arrangements to get the food they need.
Dec 12, 2017
Our agents contacted us about a lady in her 50s with a heart condition, who had been registered as a carer for her sister, who sadly has now passed. While struggling to grieve, she applied for ESA but had problems maintaining contact with her doctor and is now no longer claiming. Her family have stepped in and are feeding her, but she has debt on her gas account, which means with very limited income she is struggling to meet the demands of the debt. This also means she cannot afford to put her heating on, which she needs to be able to do right now. Our agents are going to help her with her benefits, and have applied for a grant on her behalf to clear the debt, but it is not likely that they will hear back either way until the worst of this bad weather is over.
The lady was in debt with her bank account, so transferring money to her would have been fruitless, as the banks would have just sucked it up in fees or overdraft. Our agents have challenged the bank charges, which have been refunded, which has cleared the overdraft. We agreed to transfer enough money, £110 to clear the debt with the gas company, so that she can put her heating back on again.
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 10, 2017
A homeless support centre contacted us to ask for help for a young woman they are helping. She has finally been offered accommodation, having been homeless. Although she is signing for the keys, she has no belongings, and certainly not any furniture. The charity had put a call out for used items that could be gifted to help her, such as a fridge, etc. We agreed between us we would pay £75 to the charity, for them to use on her behalf to pay for some second hand items she still needs but isn't gifted.
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 27, 2017
Our case is a young lady in need. Due to problems with bureauracy she has been left without any money or food. Our agents tried to secure her a food voucher by there was still red tape to navigate, which meant obtaining a food voucher was not possilbe. Our agents were extremely concerned for their client's welfare and asked if we could help out in the short term. We agreed to send across £50 so that she could purchase some food at least.
Oct 26, 2017
Our agent contacted us urgently this morning about a lady who is completely without any money. Her son celebrates his birthday tomorrow, and she has nothing to give him to mark the occasion. It also happens to be the anniversary of her daughter dying, and the next few days sees the anniversary of her mother's death. All this happening at once is making her feel like a "sinking ship". She's been told she needs to make new memories, but as she points out, when you are hungry all the time, it is very hard to do that. She intends to sleep the week, as while she's sleeping she doesn't feel the hunger. We agreed we would send across £50 so that she could get some food in and hopefully have a better week.
Oct 25, 2017
This case is a complicated one. The lady that needed our help was born and lived abroad for some years. She has suffered all her life with mental health issues and psychosis (her sister suffers the same and has been institutionalised all her life, which causes our client to feel anxious about revealing how bad her suffering is in case she ends up being institutionalised too.) When she was 40 her job ended, leaving her without income and a worsening mental health situation, so she moved to live with her son in Spain. She was there for 8 years, doing the occasional part time cleaning work. She met her partner there and moved with him to the UK, where she has lived ever since. Sadly her partner died, and because they were not married, she is having issues with claiming any benefits in her own right. She is still living in the family home, but there is a battle to get housing benefit awarded as the local authority keep saying no. Her son is trying to keep her going, by sending her small amounts of money when he can, but he has a family of his own to support. Our agents are helping her to fight this situation and they are also helping her register with agencies in the area, in the hopes she can secure some part time work, to help her situation. We agreed to send her £70 to allow her to buy some food and put some credit on to the energy meters.
Sep 24, 2017
One of our biscuits yesterday came across a young pregnant woman, homeless and living on the streets. She literally had nothing. We took her along to a homeless shelter in the town where she was, and requested she be given a bed for the next five weeks, and that the Biscuit Fund would meet the costs of that. It would have been £275, but they reduced the cost to £225, and agreed to help the young woman access benefits and be put forward and supported towards becoming housed.
Sep 5, 2017
It was suggested to us by one of our agents that we might consider donating a sum of money to one of the homeless charities, that are looking at purchasing some end of season tents from a high street store. We offered them £150 as the tents they were looking at were £5 each, this will allow them to help a lot of people to stay dry and hopefully a bit warmer over the coming autumn and winter seasons.
Aug 16, 2017
Our client is a lady who has been street homeless. Like so many people in this situation, they have nothing to put into their home, and most are not furnished or have white goods in them. The local councils are not always able to help. Initially we had offered to send across enough money to purchase a tiny table top oven, which includes a hot plate, but they are not allowed to have hot plates in their accommodation. In the end we agreed the sum of £100 so that she could hopefully purchase items second hand to help them set themselves up.
Aug 15, 2017
We were approached about a single mum who has divorced her abusive husband. She has been left with debts that relate back to the marriage, some of the debts not even hers. Her ex husband has deliberately arranged things with his work so that he looks on paper as if he is not earning enough to pay child maintenance. She was receiving tax credits, but then a malicious report was made to tax credits about her, and so they stopped her tax credits payments. This was unexpected and she needed to have money for food, so borrowed on one of these payday loans, which she is now struggling to repay, especially as tax credits haven't as yet reinstated her payments.
We agreed to send across £150 to allow her to be able to buy food for herself and her children, and this money will hopefully tide her over until her payments restart. We advised that she should investigate looking into a debt relief order, so that she could be free of the debt.
Aug 9, 2017
We were contacted about a man who following a fall from a roof had been left unable to work. He is desperately in need of a vacuum cleaner and not having one is beginning to really get to him. He told our agents he was going to go without food so he might be able to stretch his benefits to be able to get a cheap one. They asked if we could help out, so we sent over £50 so he could be able to get a vacuum cleaner and still have money for food. Hopefully being able to keep where he lives clean and tidy will help to improve his self respect and mental health.
Aug 2, 2017
We were contacted about a man who had been street homeless, he'd not long since been released from hospital and then had no clothes at all to wear on his discharge from hospital. He has been offered a caravan to live in, which will get him off the streets, which is wonderful. However, he does not have enough money to get a gas cannister to provide heat and energy to the van, so that he can cook. We agreed to send across £36 which would be enough to provide a filled container of gas, the deposit being overlooked by the company supplying it as they know our contact well.
Jul 26, 2017
We were approached for help for a young mum with a 5 year old daughter. The woman's husband had gone overseas briefly with friends as part of a celebration, but had suffered a heart attack and died. The woman has no access to money as she works part time and the work is casual, so being off work means she is not paid anything. She is of course trying to emotionally support herself and her daughter, and keep themselves together at such a distressful time. She has the added worry of arranging for her husband's body to be brought back to the UK. He did not have life insurance, but did have travel insurance, so hopefully transportation will be covered as part of that.
Our agents are going to help her access a funeral grant, and apply for benefits, but she is of course in a highly distressed state at the moment. They asked for financial assistance to help her until the benefits can be sorted out, so we agreed to send across £200 to assist them both.
Jul 26, 2017
We were approached by our agent asking for help for a man she has been assisting. He had been sofa surfing with his two friends, a husband and wife. Sadly the husband has now died and the fact that they were all sofa surfing with friends has now been detected and this is not allowed to continue as it goes against the rules of their friend's tenancy.. Her client has been forced to leave and back on to the streets, but as he has nowhere to go she asked for enough money to be able to buy him tent. We sent across £50 to cover the cost of a tent she'd seen on offer at a local store. Hopefully this will provide him with some shelter at least.
Jun 21, 2017
One of our agents contacted us urgently to say she was with a homeless girl who had been able to secure a job interview. She'd managed to put together suitable clothing, but had absolutely no money at all. We sent £50 to our agent so that she had some money to cover food and travel costs.
Jun 10, 2017
Our clients were a young woman and her partner. She had recently been released from the mental health section of her local hospital. They have been having problems with managing on their very tight budget, wouldn't be receiving any further benefits payments for several days and have hardly any food in the house. The woman is gluten intolerant and needs to eat food that is suitable for her to consume. Her partner suffers with severe depression and doesn't always consider her needs when he fixes himself something to eat and will eat the gluten free food that is set aside for her. We agreed to send across £50 to allow a small food shop to tide them over until they get their next benefits payment.
May 12, 2017
Our case was a man who had been street homeless for several months, with very little clothing and no way to claim any benefits as he didn't have an address to give to the DWP. An agency had offered to provide him with the support necessary to assist him with his benefits claim. They contacted us though, as he has very limited clothing and is in desperate need of some funds to purchase replacements. We agreed to send across to the agency £70 as digital vouchers to be used in a High Street Discount store, as he doesn't have a bank account either to receive the money.
Apr 28, 2017
Our agents contacted us about a lady in her 50s, with various physical health conditions, including alopecia, depression, anxiety, diabetes and arthritis, and self harms as well. She had lost her ESA claim. She'd been instructed by the DWP to attend an assessment, but her agoraphobia had prevented her being able to leave her home and attend the assessment. The DWP registered her as a "no show" and immediately stopped her award without referring back to her. Our agents are helping her with this, but being agoraphobic means she is unable to sign on for Job Seekers either, and her nerves have meant she has picked her skin raw, which has become infected, so they are trying to appeal the ESA decision on her behalf.
They wanted to know if we could help her, but spread any help we offered over a period of time, to allow her enough to buy food and put some money on her energy meters. We have agreed £150 of help, sent across at £30 a week for five weeks only. This is not something we normally do, but this was a case where the agency have specifically asked for this type of support.
Apr 25, 2017
We were made aware of a Mum who has been staying in the accommodation made available to parents when they have a child in the hospital. This Mum, her daughter had had an accident and to date she has been through seven operations on her leg, and they are hoping she will be able to leave hospital this Friday, after her operation taking place today. As the daughter has been getting very depressed with all this going on, her Mum has been staying overnight at the hospital but has to pay £15 per night to do this. She has had so much time off work they are no longer able to pay her, and she has sold everything she can to raise money to pay for this accommodation. We agreed to pay the accommodation up to the Thursday night and send across some extra funds so that they are able to buy some food for when they return home.
Apr 20, 2017
We were made aware of a young woman who due to unfortunate circumstances with her parents, suddenly found herself homeless. Fortunately some friends have taken her in temporarily to keep her off the streets, but they are unable to feed her as they are on a very tight budget, and she has no money at all to buy any food herself. We agreed that we would send across a small sum of money to tide her over while the local authority considers what will happen with her as she is still considered a minor. Our representative was going to meet up with her and take her food shopping and help her get that to her temporary home.
Mar 20, 2017
Today we sent across £62.22 to help a formerly homeless man access accommodation. He had been offered a permanent place to stay, but needed two service charges paying, totalling £50.22 , before he could move in. Then he needed to collect his belongings which had been stored for him by a hostel, so needed £12 to pay the taxi fare, to collect those and take them to his new home. All in all a very good outcome.
Mar 16, 2017
We were approached about a man in his 50s, with complex mental health issues. He lives in a caravan in quite a remote area, not easily able to access public transport. His van needs gas bottles to provide fuel for the heating and for cooking. He had no money to pay for this, nor for electricity, food or fuel for his motorbike he uses to get into town. We agreed to send across £150 to allow him to purchase a bottle of gas (£52), to put some money on to his electricity meter and buy some food. He is being supported to get his application for Personal Independence Payment put through again, as he lost his award of PIP when he failed the transition from Disability Living Allowance.
Feb 21, 2017
Our agents contacted us about a single mum, 28 years old, with two children, 10 and 4. The youngest has recently been diagnosed with Autism and they have moved into a property that allowed him to have his own bedroom. This mum has no family support as her own mother was/is a drug user and she has had no contact with her for 17 years. She has had to give up her job which she enjoyed to care for her youngest and was desperately in need of some items for the childrens rooms. She needed quilts and bedding for their beds and curtains for their rooms. The youngest suffers with incontenience due to his disability so she needed a new mattress for him, as well as some form of mattress protection. She had taken out a social fund loan to help her and the repayments for this would soon begin, so she was already be disadvantaged financially. We sent across £200 to cover all of this, so she could purchase what she needed.
Feb 19, 2017
We were contacted urgently about a lady who is staying in a hostel and was complaining about a sudden and unexpected pain in her leg, accommpanied by it feeling very hot to the touch. The hostel had a look at it and said it was a bruise and nothing to worry about, but she rang 111 who told her to go to hospital. The trouble though was that she had no money to get to the hospital so said she'd leave it until the morning. We sent across £10 to get her to and from the hospital.
Feb 8, 2017
We were contacted by an organisation that needed a small amount of help with a young man whose only companion is his cat that has lived with him for several years. Unfortunately his cat had come home with fleas, which were now making themselves at home in the house. He needed some money to be able to purchase a decent flea treatment for the cat, and something to use in the house to get rid of the fleas before it became a serious infestation. He is on Job Seekers Allowance at the moment, as his previous criminal record has meant that although he's turned his life around, finding employment is proving difficult. He could afford to make sure the cat was fed on his Job Seekers money, but there was not enough to get the flea treatment. The treatment was purchased on his behalf and delivered to him, along with a contribution of some food.
Jan 10, 2017
We were made aware of a woman who although she'd applied for welfare benefits, she was told that although she would receive payments, those would not begin for six weeks. This leaves her without food, fuel or housing benefit. Our contact said they would assist her with applying for housing benefit and council tax relief on a nil income basis with her local authority. Also, she will be encouraged to apply for a benefits advance and assistance in the form of vouchers for her local food bank to get her through this period. We agreed to send across the sum of £100 so she could top up her energy meters and buy some food.
Jan 5, 2017
Our agent told us of a lady who because of a thyroid imbalance, mental health issues and asthma was having to be frequently admitted to hospital for treatment. The thyroid imbalance caused her to be morbidly obsese, which meant she struggled with washing, and also didn't have any spare clothes at all, only those she struggled to stand up in. This meant her clothes were in need of washing and have lots holes in them. This is alienating her from other people that are currently staying temporarily in the same hostel as her. We agreed to send across a sum of money to allow her to purchase some spare clothes. Our agent will help her bid on accommodation with her local authority. Also they will be making sure that all is done that can be done to support her and her health conditions.
Dec 24, 2016
We were told about a family, Mum, Dad and a 4 year old. Dad had lost his job and needed to sign on for Job Seekers, which he did. However the Job Centre told them that he'd not begin to receive any benefit payments until the 10th January! They'd been relying on foodbanks and were facing Christmas Day with a few items of tinned food in the cupboards and some odd bits in the freezer. Not only food, but they had heating to pay for too. If you are on pay as you go electric and gas meters the cost of these can be quite excessive. This lady said her all electrically heated home costs £20 every three days.
We agreed to send across £150 to help them have a better Christmas and some food for the cupboards until their first JSA payment comes through.
Dec 23, 2016
Our agents told us about a family, the father out of work, as was the two teenaged children, and the wife is disabled with breathing difficulties. Our agents helped them to sign on for Job Seekers as they have been unable to get any agency work for the past few weeks. One of the sons was working a zero hour contract in a high street store, but after falling unwell and offering a fit (sick) note, he was sacked leaving him without employment. When the father tried to sign on for Job Seekers he was told this would not be possible as his wife is disabled and not fit for work. Our agents are trying to get this resolved and for him to be able to sign on to JSA. In the meantime, they need some food so we agreed to send across £150 to tide them over until the New Year.