Christmas has been a strange time for many of us this year, but for some people it's not just because they haven't been able to hug family and friends.
For some, it has been a real hardship and time of worry. It's been about making a desperate choice whether to use what little money there is to either feed children or keep them warm, or it has been lonely and frightening due to physical or mental health worries and not knowing how to find the right support.
Our support service has run for a number of years and we have helped hundreds of people over that time. We can offer all kinds of advice and support on your finances, budgeting and help you to make the most of your money. We can help you manage your tenancy and support you even if you think there’s no other choice and you might lose your home, but we can’t do all this if you don’t tell us you need our help.
This year, we have seen some real struggles due to the coronavirus. People have lost their income, their jobs and even their homes. As a housing association, we are often in a position to help, and we have not only provided personal support to many of our own residents, we have worked closely with foodbank charity the Trussell Trust to help many more people in food poverty. The campaign we started with the charity, More Than Homes, aims to raise £1 million to provide thousands of emergency food parcels. Housing associations up and down the country are supporting the campaign and almost £400,000 has been raised so far. It's a sad fact that more emergency food parcels than ever before have been needed this year.
Up to 4pm on New Year's Eve, then from 4 January, our teams will be here to talk if you need our help.
This year, more and more people are needing all manner of help, and there is nothing wrong with asking us, or someone, for it. But, we know it just might not be about your home or your money.
Mental health and victim support charities know that worries or bad things don’t stop just for the festive season. If you are feeling that things are so bad you really don’t know what to do, talk to us or get in touch with one of these charities which can help (the name of each charity is direct link to their help pages):
- MIND for better mental health 0300 123 3393
- CRISIS 0300 636 1967
- Citizen’s Advice
- Gov.UK (Benefits and Universal Credit)
- Gov.UK (Coronavirus)
- Money Advice Service
- National Debtline 0808 808 4000
- Samaritans Call 116 123
We hope you stay safe and warm this festive season and please, make a call or check a website if you need help. It's here with us or out there with someone else if you need it.