Joel’s story

Joel was left to support his two younger sisters when their mum tragically passed away. Not only did Joel have this responsibility whilst trying to come to terms with the family’s loss, he was under considerable stress as the siblings were forced to leave the home they’d shared with their mum and faced trying to set up a new home whilst in financial hardship…

Joel for web

A third of the people we help are children and young people

Joel is in his early twenties and has two younger sisters. The siblings were receiving grief counselling after recently losing their mum to cancer. They’d not had contact with their dad for several years and had no extended family to rely on for support, so were feeling very much alone.

When his mum became poorly, Joel had tried his best to be a support to his sisters and to help manage the family’s finances, so they could buy the essentials they needed. But, as his mum was unable to work for some time the family had been finding it hard to make ends meet. This had led to them falling into arrears in their private tenancy.

After his mum’s death, Joel continued to try to take care of his sisters and ease their worry, but all three were struggling. When, due to their arrears, the siblings were evicted from their home just a week after their mum passed away, it was traumatic for them all.

This house had been fully furnished, which meant, whilst the family was helped to find someone else to live, they had no white goods of their own and no money to set up a new home. Their only income was from Universal Credit and after outgoings for essential general living expenses, there was no money left to buy these items. Joel worried that their only option would be going into debt he knew they’d have trouble paying back.

This additional stress was having a huge impact on the siblings’ mental health, particularly on Joel who was taking on a lot of the responsibility to shield his sisters from some of the worry. Their support worker felt that this was having a big impact and not allowing Joel to have the headspace he needed to grieve for his mum.

An item that was key to easing some of the family’s worry was a cooker, which would allow them to prepare hot and healthy meals as a family, rather than relying on unhealthy and expensive ready-meals or takeaways.

Thanks to your support, we’ve been able to provide Joel and his sisters with the cooker they so desperately needed. This relatively small but essential item is helping them to settle into a new life as they come to terms with their mum’s death and all that they’ve been through.

"It’s fantastic to see all the ways the community comes together to improve the lives of people in need. From undertaking challenges, to dress-up days, quizzes, raffles and cake-bakes, to donating, setting up a regular gift, volunteering or spreading the word, it all helps to ensure people living in hardship are warm, safe and fed and have the basics in life that we all deserve."

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