52 Lives

#201 Josey

Request: Donations / Baby things / Baby cards

This week, we’d like to help a 19 year old woman from Shropshire called Josey and her newborn baby boy.

Until recently, Josey was living in a YMCA, as she had nowhere else to go. Josey used to live with her mum, but their relationship was strained and broke down, mostly due to her mum’s chaotic lifestyle. So she now has no contact with her parents.

She managed to move out of the YMCA and into supported housing for young mums, but she has been struggling. Towards the end of her pregnancy, Josey was suffering from a condition that made it difficult, and painful, for her to walk so she had to get taxis to her anti-natal appointments, which left her with very little money. While she was at the YMCA she built up some rent arrears, and she also had to take out a crisis loans to cover her gas and electricity when she moved into her flat, and also some essentials for her baby.  Josey has to pay these back each month, but with so little money coming in she doesn't have enough left to cover her living costs.

Josey was nominated by one of her NHS support workers, who said Josey and her baby are now relying on food banks. “Josey is doing a fantastic job and is keen to do the best for her baby in every possible way. She has support from us professionals, but we have limited resources to provide the support that she so desperately needs.”

"She really just needs a break to get on top of her finances and to be able to enjoy this precious time with her baby without the overwhelming stress of debt and bills and an income that doesn't cover them."

Josey hasn’t had an easy start in life and is struggling to stay on top of everything. Some kindness in these early months as a new parent would make such a big difference to her state of mind, her life, and the life of her baby boy.

Josey has asked for very little – some help to buy healthy food and a few things for her baby...but we’d like to do much more for her than that. With your help, we’d like to pay Josey’s arrears, to give her and her little boy a fresh start.

What We Need

1. Donations: We need to raise £500 so we can pay Josey's arrears. Any funds we raise above what is needed for that will be used to help Josey and her baby in other ways. 100% of what you give will be used to help Josey (she has a key worker in place to help her with budgeting going forward). To make a donation, please click the link below. 

2. Things for her baby: We have set up a wishlist with gifts for Josey's baby boy. To buy a gift, please click the 'Buy a gift' link below, choose an item and it will be sent directly to Josey. (And don't forget, when you buy through Amazon, please use Amazon Smile - that way a % of what you buy is donated to 52 Lives you can sign up to Amazon smile here)

3. Baby cards: Josey didn't receive much kindness after the birth of her baby 12 weeks ago, so we'd like to make up for it now. To send a new baby card for Josey, please post it to 52 Lives (Life # 201), PO Box 3154, Reading, RG1 9AT. Or if you would like to email a message to her, you can write it in the form below and we will pass it along (your contact details will not be passed along).



What We Did

This is Josey’s baby boy. He’s laying on a playmat instead of the bare floor. He has a warm house, with a fridge full of food and a change table full of nappies. He has lovely clothes to wear, books to read, toys to play with, plates, bowls and bibs. Best of all, he has a mum who is no longer spending every minute worrying about how she is going to feed and clothe him – or how she is ever going to get out of the rut she is in.

We asked you to help us raise £500 to pay off Josey’s debts for her. We hit the target in under an hour, but you just kept donating! By the end of the week, we had raised more than £2500 in donations, hundreds of pounds in Amazon gift cards, and every item was bought from Josey’s Amazon wishlist.

We also received so many beautiful baby gifts and cards for her – snuggle blankets, baby clothes, toiletries....a special thank you to Alison, Ray, David, Michelle, Debbie, and everyone who helped. And thank you to Gala Bingo for their incredible fundraising.

We have now paid of Josey’s debts, bought her everything she needs...and she is now on her way to saving for a better life for her and her baby. It has been her dream to move into flat where her baby can have his own room and a small garden to play in...and now that she doesn’t have so many debts to pay off, she has started to save towards that goal.

“We finally have furniture for my baby’s room and a few essentials we’ve really been needing. We were able to buy clothes, blankets, sleep suits...and I’ve now got vouchers to do my food shop so I can save money to eventually move into a flat big enough for both of us. I am so very grateful for everything you and everyone involved have done for me... we’d be in such a slum without all the help you’ve all given us.”