When D came to us in June 2017 she and her four children were living on a friend’s sofa.
She had no recourse to public funds and was living on £37 a week – for herself and four children, one of whom has a chronic health condition.
Practical help to start
We supported her by applying for emergency funds through South West Ham Children’s Fund, supplying nappies, toiletries, wipes, food, clothes, and referred her to a food bank.
Empowering introductions to services
Through local councillor Dianne Walls D was able to challenge the level of support she was receiving.
She worked with Shelter and the London Black Women’s Project on her case – while her two youngest children – adorable and characterful boys – played happily with and other children volunteers.
With their help, D was able to make a plea to social services that she needed support and was rehomed into temporary accommodation in November 2017.
Learning, taking part, contributing
D took part in every workshop going:
Financial Capability (she knew more about avoiding debt, being frugal, and which bills to prioritise than the professionals.)
Child weaning, potty training, singing, dancing.
D was amazed by our vegan soup and loved it – taking home extra to cook whenever she could. She surprised herself because as she said “I only ever liked meat before!”.
OK she did love Farah from Shelter’s tandoori chicken at the christmas party too!
Leave to remain!
In February 2018 the news that we had all been waiting for: D was granted indefinite leave to remain in the country by the home office. After years of waiting patiently for the wheels of the system to turn, we were there! (Maybe a few people on the team cried with joy that day, not naming names of course!).
All that the family is entitled to
With the help of the family support worker at the local children’s centre that we put her in touch with she has applied for all benefits due to her.
Now she is actively seeking work through agencies at residential care homes – she will work at night while her children sleep so that she can still look after them in the day.
D and her four children have been rehoused in Manor Park.
She is now a founder member of our steering committee, and has introduced volunteers and other families to the project.
She is a beacon of hope for the mums who are still in difficult situations.
For her endurance, patience, and strength her easy laugh and massive grin- even at the darkest of times – we admire here so much.
This is our love letter to you D. Keep on being you – we are in awe!
To help women like D and her children. Please give what you can. We are not funded by local authorities.
To help families such as Ds please donate to our crowdfunding appeal.
Or get in touch to ask us about regular giving.