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.