Like everyone else in the UK that is not a key worker, we have been on lockdown, staying safe in our homes. Sadly though, our services were needed more than ever before during this period and we had days with record numbers of applications to us for help. People losing their jobs or placed on furlough. When you are in a low paid job and in receipt of working tax credit to ‘top that income up’ it often means that during an ordinary month it is a very tight line that is walked financially. Throw Covid19 into the mix and those finances go to pot. Many families found themselves with children home from school who would normally receive free school lunches. Also being at home more means greater demands on energy, so many families were struggling to keep up with the demands of keeping their gas and electric meters topped up.
We found ourselves overwhelmed to the point where it would take us hours to get through the emails alone, without the other work that goes into dealing with a request, and the back and forth conversations. We had some very hairy days where we worried we might run out of funds and have to start turning people away. We agreed as a group that for the foreseeable future we would be unable to accept requests for help with school uniforms, white goods, furniture, moving costs. We would return to our original objective – to offer a crumb of hope to those that feel as if their back is truly up against the wall. Our grants are not huge, but by making this decision it allows us to help as many people as we possibly can.
None of this we could do without the donations we receive each month, or as one-offs from our supporters. For that help, we say thank you. If you are interested in becoming a donor, please visit this page to find out more.