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Ben

Ben was on the brink of homelessness when he reached out to the Charity for help.

As a Prison Officer, Ben’s job requires high levels of resilience. Although he was prepared to deal with the immense challenges he faced on his shift, he felt like his personal life had been unravelling for the past few years. As he went to work each day he was doing his best to cope with a marriage breakdown at home.

“She was my wife and the mother of my two children so it was a very stressful period of time when we split up. When I moved out of the family home, I was still paying the mortgage and child maintenance, so I was struggling financially for a while.”

Despite the problems he was facing, Ben did his best to make a fresh start in life. That’s when he met his new partner Cathy. Things were going well and they eventually decided to move in together. It was the perfect new home where Ben’s children could visit and spend quality time with their Dad. But just as they were settling in, Cathy was made redundant. With half of the household income suddenly gone, they couldn’t keep up with their bills and were falling behind on their rent. As time passed and Cathy struggled to find a new job, their financial situation became more desperate. It eventually reached a point where they thought they would lose their home.

“We were extremely worried. It was starting to affect my work because I simply didn’t know what we were going to do. I felt like we’d lost control of our lives and there was no way out.”

Ben felt like he was back to square one. Luckily he followed his line manager’s recommendation and gave the Charity a call. Although he was hesitant at first, his colleagues finally managed to convince him that that’s what we’re here for.

“I didn’t believe this kind of help could possibly be available to me. It can be very difficult to reach out like that, especially when money is concerned.”

When we spoke to Ben, we found that we were able to pay towards his outstanding rent arrears, allowing the couple to stay in their new home.

“The help from the Charity resolved our issues almost overnight. Paying off the rent arrears gave my partner the time to find another job and earn enough money before the next month’s rent was due.”

Since Ben initially got in contact with us, he has had several promotions within the Prison Service and additionally, he is living without any financial worries. Cathy has also got a new job and the two of them have finally started living the kind of life they were hoping for.

“Me and my partner have started enjoying our life together again and that’s because the Charity wanted to help me. Civil servants do a valuable job. We work hard to look after the public. So it makes sense that we should look after each other.”

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