This week, we’d like to help a mum called Sally and her young children, who were made homeless after a fire in their council property.
They went to stay with a relative, but it was incredibly overcrowded. They've been relocated to a new area where they know no-one. The children have had to change schools and move away from their friends, and into a house that's in very bad state.
The house wasn’t ready for tenants and is not at all suitable or safe for young children (Sally’s children are aged 3 to 12) . The garden is derelict with discarded slabs, cement mixing sand, glass, grit and faeces. The fence is falling down and there's rubbish everywhere you look. Inside the flat is not much better – there are fire hazards, doors falling off, no window locks, a broken cooker and no fridge.
Her support workers have put in complaints to the letting agency, the landlord and environmental health and are working with Sally to get that side of things sorted out.
But Sally has been struggling with her mental health, and they are also struggling financially. Because of the change in her circumstances, she's been switched to universal credit and there's been a long delay in receiving any benefits so money has been incredibly tight. Without a fridge or freezer, she has to shop for food every day which has been more costly, she is cleaning the floor with her hands and a brush as she has no hoover, and the support workers have had to find school shoes for her children. Her 7 year old has a skin condition which means Sally has to keep his environment very clean or his skin blisters up, adding even more stress to an already difficult situation.
Sally was nominated by one of her support workers who said Sally (and her children in particular) have been through a lot over the past few months and they would all really benefit from some kindness.
I wanted to give the children something fun to really brighten up their days - but when Sally asked them what they would like most of all, these were their answers...
“I would like a wardrobe or drawers to be able to put my clothes away.”
“I’d like some new bedding, instead of the bedding we get from welfare.”
...not at all what I was expecting to hear from young children. With your help, we would love to do this - and more - for Sally and her children.
(Photo: stock image)