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 6, 2017
Our agents wrote to us about one of their clients they are supporting who has a large amount of debt, and might even have to file for bankruptcy. She is a single mum of two children, one 3 and one 8 years old. The oldest childs bed has broken, and is falling apart, mostly because it is only suitable for a toddler. We were asked if we could consider contributing towards the cost of a new or second hand bed, so that the child could have a bed to sleep in, as obviously not sleeping properly will impact negatively on her health. We agreed to send her £100 to put towards the cost of a bed.
Dec 5, 2017
One of our agents spotted a single mum of a baby and a four year old, that is unable to put on the heating during these very cold months as she cannot afford to put it on. What is worse, is that the hot water is heated via an immersion tank, so they are without hot water as well. She has applied for the warm home discount, but it is looking that she will not receive that payment until the worst of the bad weather is over. We agreed to send her £100 so that she can put the heating on and the family can be warm again.
Nov 28, 2017
Our agents contacted us regarding a lady who has fled a serious domestic abuse situation, taking her three children with her. They are currently being housed in temporary accommodation and the mum has been struggling with her health as a result of the abuse. She has been claiming Statutory Sickness Payments, but that isn't enough to meet her outgoings. She had to leave the family home suddenly and was unable to take the children's birth certificates with her, and without these she is unable to get the child benefit claim transferred to her. The father is currently refusing to relinquish the child benefit claim, even though he is not in contact with them.
We agreed to send £30, which would cover the cost of the three replacement birth certificates, along with a further £220 to allow them to buy some food and essential items.
Nov 23, 2017
We were contacted by our agents asking for help for their client, a man who has been homeless for quite some time. He has been sofa surfing, a hidden kind of homelessness, where you rely on people being able to allow you to sleep on their sofa for a night here and there. This level of uncertainty is quite unsettling for a person. He has finally been offered a flat, but has nothing to go into it in terms of furniture, crockery, small appliances. Our agents have been able to source some of these items for him, but asked for a small amount of help with this. He also hopes to set up a room for his teenaged daughter when he can. We offered to send over £50 to them to spend on his behalf.
Nov 13, 2017
We were approached for help with a single parent of a 12 year old. The mother is a surivivor of domestic abuse. She has had to flee 15 different properties in the past six years. Her ex-partner finds her and the abuse starts again, the last time he injured her so badly she has been left with spinal injuries and mental health issues, due to the trauma of the attack. This has left her unable to work and she has had to apply for benefits. As she has to flee without any notice, there is no time to arrange removals of her furniture and belongings, so she keeps haviing to start over again. She is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and is in over £10,000 of debt and is in need of the £90 required to enable a Debt Relief Order to be put in place. We agreed to raise a cheque for that amount and send it to our agents so that they can begin the process on her behalf.
Nov 9, 2017
Our client on this occasion is a man in his 60s. He had a stroke not so long back which has left him with some brain damage. This means he has to lie on the couch for hours at a time, as whenever he tries to get up he is left feeling dizzy and nauseous. He has separated from his partner, following her abuse of alcohol, and Social Services have placed their young daughter in his custody, away from the mother. The gentleman has someone who comes in every day and prepares and cooks a main meal for him, but not for the daughter. This service is currently supplied to him free of charge, but he is very concerned they will soon begin to charge him.
He receives only ESA, and all the money for that goes on purchasing food for him and his daughter. His ex partner is still claiming the child benefit and child tax credits, and he is trying, with the support of our the courts, to get that switched over to him instead. He struggles to pay any of his bills, and to add insult to injury his local authority are charging him bedroom tax, as he is in a two bedroom property, and they won't stop the demand until they are satisfied the child benefit is paid to him. He is in arrears over this to the sum of £150, receiving letters from his landlord, which is increasing his anxiety, leaving him very weepy and distraught. He is in the process of applying for PIP, but has to wait for a home assessment as he is too unwell to attend a centre.
We agreed to cover the £150 arrears, plus an extra £50 so that they could do some shopping. It is likely once the council are satisfied that his daughter does live with him, that they will drop the demand for the councl tax and refund to him any monies he has already paid.