Stuart was working at a national fast-food chain on a zero-hours contract.
The contract meant inconsistent hours which made budgeting incredibly hard, and he never knew how much his wages would be. Over a period of a few months Stuarts wages varied and he fell behind with all his priority bills. Although he was receiving a top-up to his wage through Universal Credit, this was not enough.
Each month my wage varied depending on what hours I’d been offered. I’d had a benefit advance when I first started on Universal Credit which I was paying back as well as arrears on my Council Tax, rent and utility bills. It was impossible to survive on what was left and pay all my bills as nearly 40% of it was deducted before I received it.
Stuart was also being taken to court for his debts and this had led to a breakdown in his mental health and high levels of stress. He was referred to The Welcome Centre via Local Welfare Provision, where he received food parcels and asked for further help from our 1-2-1 Advice, Guidance and Support service.
The Welcome Centre contacted the Money Advice Unit at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, and they supported him to contact all of his creditors.
A Debt Relief Order was suggested due to the level of debts that Stuart had.
To get a Debt Relief Order was going to cost me £90 and I had no money to pay for this, even though it was going to help me sort out my outstanding debts. Cath from The Welcome Centre applied for a grant for me, which covered the £90 insolvency fee. It was a massive relief.
Once the DRO went through, Stuart’s mental health improved. He made a fresh start and was successful in applying for a new job with regular hours.