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.