When you are forced to choose between heating or food

One of the cases we helped a while back was for a man who had recently separated from his wife. He’d found somewhere to live, but tight finances meant that he couldn’t afford to put the heating on and spend money on food during the week. (Paying back advanced payments of Universal Credit meant that his monthly Universal Credit payments were lower than his monthly rent.) If he did so it meant that his children when they visited him at the weekends would be hungry and cold and he couldn’t bear that thought. So during the week, he was in a freezing cold flat, eating only the bare minimum, saving as much as possible for the weekends. Our agents contacted us very concerned about his mental health, as obviously this was taking its toll on him. They’d supplied him with a voucher for a food parcel as when they visited him on Wednesday, he’d not eaten anything since the Sunday when his children last visited. We agreed to send him a small amount to top up his energy meters, enough for the next few weeks so it would be one less thing for him to worry about.

After we told our agents about the award, they emailed us back to say –
” Thanks Jemima, it’s his birthday today and apparently he cried when our receptionist told him about the award. You change lives! Thank you.”

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