Bob is 73 years old and was widowed just over 2 years ago. He lives alone and has no other family. Bob has several long-term health issues, which meant that during the pandemic, he was advised to shield. He did this during the first lockdown and received the NHS food boxes each week, which were delivered to his door.
Those parcels really got me through the first lockdown when I couldn’t go out and shop.
When the new lockdown began in December, the NHS food parcel service had stopped which mean Bob was struggling to get food. He contacted his local Salvation Army and asked for some help. They sent someone over to his house to chat with him about his circumstances and decided to refer him to The Welcome Centre for support.
Our Advice Worker at The Welcome Centre contacted Bob to find out if he would we could offer any other help. Bob disclosed that he was struggling to repay a loan and a catalogue bill.
When my wife died, I took out a loan to pay for her funeral. I didn’t know what else to do.
Bob soon realised that the loan payments he had agreed to were too high. For the last 2 years, he has been cutting back on everyday things just to make the payments.
I didn't want to get behind and was doing everything I could to meet the monthly payments.
We explained to Bob he could get help from The Money Advice Unit at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing. Although he’d had always been a very private person, he realised he couldn’t continue as he was and agreed to speak with them.
The Welcome Centre referred Bob to KNH and he was allocated a money advisor. The advisor spoke to Bob about his finances and contacted the loan company who reduced his repayments to an affordable amount. They also helped him apply for a grant to pay off the catalogue arrears and did a benefit check to ensure that Bob received the correct benefits.
During this time The Welcome Centre supported Bob with food parcels and welfare calls at home to ensure he was getting the support he needed. Also, our Advice Manager told him about the Co-op's delivery scheme and he now gets food delivered to him via his local Co-op and support calls from The Salvation Army.
Kirklees Money Advice Team
Kirklees Money Advice Team has experienced money advisors who are available to provide free and impartial advice to all KNH tenants. They offer a wide range of support on budgeting and money management, debt, rent matters and a whole host of issues arising from welfare reforms. Contact their Money Advice Team on 01484 414975 or email [email protected]