A client was referred to one of our advisors after visiting the food bank. They had always been in work but now due to illness were struggling with knowing what to do to manage their income. We advised them to provide the job centre with sick notes.
When they received the 24-page Universal Credit capability for work questionnaire, they again sought our help. This is a daunting task if you are well, but when you are feeling ill with all the other stress you are coping with, this is not an easy task. We helped them to complete and return it to the DWP. However, they were still struggling due to lack of income.
We were helping them manage by providing emergency food parcels, but then they disclosed to us that they had a couple of hundred pounds of debt to their landlord due to being ill and not being able to work. They had been trying to pay off the arrears each month, but this was leaving them struggling to cover their basic cost of living. All this stress was having a detrimental effect on their mental health. They told us how they were under threat of becoming homeless.
We conducted an income and expenditure assessment and could see that they could not cut back on any other expenditure without seriously affecting their health and wellbeing. We made the decision to support them by providing them with £25 of Aldi vouchers each week for 12 weeks. This enabled them to buy food and put the money saved towards the rent arrears. This has prevented a vulnerable person losing their home and given so much needed breathing space to hear back from UC regarding their limited capacity to work, which would add on an extra income a month.
By doing this we will be maximising their income and supporting/enabling them to pay off their rental debt, being in a much better position in 3 months’ time, alleviating their need to rely on the food bank. But more importantly in speaking to our friend, they so very grateful and say it is a weight of their shoulders, easing further stress.
Without your generous financial donations, we would not be able to give this kind of hope, or work to making a better community where no one has to experience food poverty or financial exclusion.
Working with our partners Helping Hands Advice Centre we achieve so much more than putting a meal on the table.