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Older couple finding it difficult to manage

We were approached about a couple that are one year short of retirement.  The lady works as a cleaner but has had to have three weeks off work as her arthritis has been so painful.  She has only just received her Statutory Sickness Payments.  They have a number of debts, and are subject to double bedroom tax as they have a three-bedroomed home.  They are desperate to down-size but their rent arrears are too high to allow that to happen.  They are trying to get to a position where they can address the arrears to allow a move to happen.  Their Universal Credit claim won't update to reflect that the wife has only received SSP, instead of her usual wage until early May.  They have been existing by using foodbank vouchers, as every penny they've received they've used to try to keep their home and fight off the threat of eviction and subsequent homelessness.  They've now exhausted their entitlement to help from the foodbank and have no money for gas or electricity either until they get any benefits payments in early May.  We agreed to send them £100 so they can buy some food and top up their energy meters.

Tags : elderlycouple retirement benefits sickness SSP poverty eviction homelessness

Single mum of four unable to manage

A very young mum who is a single parent to four children is struggle to manage financially.  She was previously in a relationship with the children's father, but when that relationship broke down, she and the children moved out.  When she finally got her home back from her ex-partner, she discovered that he had failed to pay the rent in thatt time and she is now at risk of homelessness.  She is working with her housing provider to try to find a solution, but she struggles with reading and writing and doesn't have any family around to support or help her.  We offered to send her a small boost of £50 to help her out as she is finding it hard to provide meals for the children over the Easter holidays as they usually get free school meals.

Tags : Schoolholidays Easterholidays freeschoolmeals poverty homelessness benefits

Formerly homeless young mum and baby need help

A young mum and her baby, previously living in a homeless shelter visited our agents for financial help and advice.  Our agents are really impressed at how hard this young mother is working to be a good mother herself.  As a child she spent a lot of her life living street homeless or in care.  She has learning problems and is struggling to be able to budget properly.  Our agents are helping her with budgeting and guiding her with how to cook cheap nutritious meals.  They have also been making sure she has access to food vouchers to be able to feed herself and her one year old.  We decided to send her £150 to help her address some small debts and have money for other things, to hopefully reduce some of the worry she is having, which is impacting negatively on her mental health.

Tags : SingleMum growingupincare poverty homelessness debts mentalhealth

Family unable to afford energy costs and food

We received details today of a family of three that are struggling to buy food or pay for their energy costs.  The family are trying to exist on the sole minimum wage of the father as the mother is unable to work due to childcare needs.  They have arrears on their rent and council tax, and are now unable to afford gas, electric or food.  They were in receipt of child tax credits, but this is currently being assessed and won't be in payment for a couple of weeks.  Our agents are assisting the father in trying to secure a better paid job, so they are better able to cope.  We agreed to send the family £100 to help them out. 

Tags : Benefits childtaxcredit minimumwage arrears poverty

Father loses job after motorbike was stolen

Our agents approached us about helping a young family.  The father was working, doing agency work, but unfortunately his motorbike was stolen that he used to travel to and from his place of employment.  Without the means to get there, he had to cease his contract and since has struggled to find work, any work.  Reluctantly they have had to apply for Universal Credit and are waiting at the moment to have their claim processed.  In the meantime they are without food, and have a 3 month old baby to take care of, as well as feed themselves.  We agreed to send the family £150, so they can buy some food and nappies for the baby.

Tags : UniversalCredit Motorcycletheft youngfamilies poverty

Lady leaves refuge after two and a half years

A lady who has been in a women's refuge for the past two and a half years because of domestic violence has been offered a place of her own to live.  She has nothing to take with her apart from her clothing so needs to start from scratch.  Our agents have assisted her to obtain help from local sources and have managed to get most things, but she is without any means of cooking food.  She is existing on £73.10 per week and from that she needs to cover all her bills and her food so doesn't have any money to consider purchasing anything herself.  We sent her £100 to she could put the money towards purchasing a refurbished oven.

Tags : Refuge shelter domesticviolence startingover benefits poverty

Pensioner dealing with cancer is without food

A lady who is currently dealing with ovarian cancer and spinal metatases, lives with her husband.  Currently the only income they receive is her £145 pension per week.  They do own their own home, but still have bills to pay out of that, including energy, water, council tax etc.  Our agents are assisting her in applying for pension credit and her husband has no income at all, so they are helping him to claim Universal Credit.  In the meantime they don't have any money for food, so we sent them £100 so they could get some food shopping in.

Tags : Pension cancer ovariancancer poverty pensionersinpoverty

Young mum without furniture or money

A young mum and her son were living in social housing with her son's father.  Unfortunately the father became very abusive and the mother and son moved out to live temporarily with the grandmother.  The son's father was then charged with domestic abuse and removed from the property, however in so doing he removed all the furniture and white goods, leaving them with nothing.  She is also without any money until her next benefit payment arrives on the 8th of April, so cannot buy any food for herself and her son.  Our agents are helping her access food banks in the meantime.  We sent her over £100 to use to buy some food and maybe some second-hand items of furniture to get started again.

Tags : Domesticabuse motherandson nofurniture nofood poverty socialhousing

Mother of one with anxiety and depression

We had a case where a young mum who has suffered with depression and anxiety for years has got herself into a mess with her finances.  It got so bad that the slightest thing, a letter about her benefits, contact from her landlord were spiraling her into a deeper depressed state.  In the end she moved in with her mother who was forced to step in and get our agents on board to help steer her through this mess.  Our agents are requesting details of all her debts, including applying for a credit check to see if there is anything outstanding they don't know about so they can resolve these all with a debt relief order which they asked us to cover the cost of.  We agreed to do this.

Tags : SingleParents depression anxiety debt poverty DRO

Woman unable to manage

We were approached about a family, a mother and father and their young son.  The mother has been receiving treatment for cancer, and the impact of this is that she is now struggling with extreme fatigue, mobility and coordination issues.  Her husband has recently lost his job, so they are really struggling to cope financially, with her claiming Employment Support Allowance as she is unable to work.  The impact of the cancer on the mother has meant she has to rest a lot, and they are unable to put the heating on if she needs it because they can not afford it.  We agreed to send them £100 to help them out.

Tags : cancer aftercare poverty ESA Unemployment

Family in need of help

This time it was a family that needed our assistance.  The parents have just had their eldest child who is 12 move in to live with them.  Previously the child had been living with their grandparents.  The addition of another person into the household has had a knock on effect on their income and the space within the house.  The family are still trying to recover from having an adult family staying with them while they were street homeless, they brought with them issues around drugs and money.  It has now been confirmed that that family member will definitely not be returning, so the famly are now trying to recover.  They are though struggling to manage, so we agreed to send them £150 to help them out.

Tags : Familiesinpoverty estrangedfamilies poverty

Woman suffers domestic violence

A lady had fled a domestic violence situation, ending up in a refuge far away from friends and family.  She is due a benefits payment but not until the first week of April.  In the meantime she has nothing to buy food or anything she needs.  We agreed to transfer over £100 to assist her.

Tags : Benefits domesticviolence refuge poverty

Expectant mother without any provision for the baby

A young mum to be, 35 weeks pregnant has been in contact with our agents who have discovered that she doesn't have anything ready for when the baby arrives.  Our agents have been helping her to obtain some items she needs, but still have a few things to get and asked if we could help out.  She is in receipt of Universal Credit, and has applied for the maternity grant, but is still waiting for the outcome of that.  We sent her £70 so she can pick out some items herself.

Tags : Pregnancy expectantmum poverty UniversalCredit

Young woman being admitted to refuge

We were asked to assist a young girl that was being admitted to a refuge.  She has been abused financially, with any money she is entitled to being taken off her.  They were concerned that on her arrival she would have no money at all.  We agreed to send across £100 to help her out.  

Tags : Refuge FinancialAbuse female poverty

Mum of three needs mattress for toddler

A single mum of three, who suffers herself with mental health issues, was signposted to our agents from the homeless centre that they were living in.  She is due to attend the next parenting group, and has the support of a social worker.  However, the Mum needs a mattress for the toddler's bed and is struggling to find any money towards this.  We sent across £100 to the family, hopefully allowing a little left over after buying the mattress, so that the family can have a small treat. 

Tags : SingleMothers children homelessness mattress poverty

Former teacher undergoing cancer treatment is struggling

A former teacher diagnosed with cancer is currently undergoing high dose chemotherapy and awaiting a stem cell transplant.  She is a single parent and former teacher, now unable to work due to her diagnosis.  She has no family and is no longer able to drive.  She is struggling financially and was recently forced to move home through no fault of her own.  We agreed to send her £150 to use towards food and energy costs.

Tags : Cancer chemotherapy debt movinghome poverty foodandenergypoverty

Young Mum frustrated by Universal Credit Application

A Mum of a young daughter was working part-time in a supermarket, 7.5 hours per week, claiming child tax credits, child benefit and some financial support from her ex partner.  Struggling to make ends meet she applied for Universal Credit to top her payments up, but this brought her existing payments to a halt and she faces a long wait while her claim is processed.  In the meantime her rent payments have fallen behind as her housing benefit was one of those that stopped being paid.  Her landlord annoyed that the rent isn't being paid has been threatening the mum, causing her to become very concerned.  She has been unable to go into work because she needs to put her daughter into the breakfast club at school, but without the money to pay for it, she can't access the scheme.  Her bank account was a little overdrawn, £24, so we agreed to send her £125, to clear the overdraft and allow her and her daughter to have some money for food.  Our agents are going to help her regarding the landlord situation as they are not allowed to threaten her like this and must follow the official route.

Tags : Singleparents Benefits DWP UniversalCredit debt poverty

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