Samuel, a single father, came to Welcare when he was struggling financially just before Christmas. We were able to help with food and heating costs, and enable Sam and his children to have a proper family Christmas.
I’d never had any problem finding work before. I do contracting and there was always something about. But that autumn, I found it really hard. Christmas was coming and I was really worried about paying the rent and feeding the children. I hit rock-bottom when my benefits were cut, and found it hard on my mental health too. We were cold and hungry. There was very little food in the house and we had no money to heat it. My little girl Lily said we were “the forgotten family” and it really felt like that.
Then a teacher at the kids’ school told me about Welcare. I filled in a form online and got a call within 2 days. Someone from Welcare came to visit us to talk about what we needed, and arranged for a crisis grant so I could put some money into the heating, and also arranged us access to a food bank. They were in contact with us every week – either on the phone or face to face – which just made things seem more positive. It was as if a weight had been lifted.
Christmas was about to happen. Welcare had a collection of toys I went to choose some to give to the children. Perhaps the best Christmas present of all was that Welcare found some money from a local charitable trust to get us some carpet to cover the bare living room floor and paint to brighten up the room, just in time for Christmas. It made my Christmas to see the children being able to sit on the floor to unwrap their presents on Christmas Day.
We will always be so grateful for Welcare’s help at a time when no one else was there.
With their immediate financial problems dealt with, Samuel is feeling less overwhelmed and has now been able to focus on finding a new job. The family’s future is looking much better.