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Breda Department for Communities, NI

Breda recently became a volunteer with us. When asked why, she explains how she felt inspired by her own personal experience with the Charity earlier this year.

Breda was trying to deal with a million problems at once when she first discovered the work we do. Her marriage of fifteen years had broken down and she had just started the first few stages of getting a divorce. In addition to the emotional struggle, she was dealing with the financial shock of becoming a single parent to two children.

“I remember feeling very anxious about everything. I didn’t know how I was going to adjust to my new financial situation and I panicked. That was around the same time I discovered the Charity.”

One of our team members visited Breda’s office and explained the range of support we can offer to serving and former civil servants. After the presentation, Breda plucked up the courage to explain her situation to our staff and felt immediately reassured by our response.

“The lady I spoke to was brilliant. She gave me valuable money advice and went through everything in detail with me. By helping me plan my daily outgoings, she helped me see that I was going to be OK and there was no need to panic.”

Breda finally felt like she was ready to start a new chapter in her life. She had found a new place to live away from the family home and was looking forward to what the future might bring. Unfortunately, she had no idea that she was about to face a financial nightmare she couldn’t escape. With a gas safety certificate to hand, she could not understand why she couldn’t turn on the hot water or heating.

“I soon realised that the boiler was broken. I felt cheated. Part of moving house was putting the past behind me and I suddenly felt like I was back to square one again. I didn’t know how I was going to afford to fix it.”

To make matters worse, winter was drawing in and temperatures had rapidly dropped in Breda’s new home. Feeling miserable and cold, she decided to get in touch once more to see if there was anything the Charity could do to help. Once we understood her situation in detail, we found that we were able to pay towards the purchase of a new boiler and provide Breda with the peace of mind she had been longing for.

“I couldn’t believe the kindness of the Charity. The support they gave me really helped me psychologically as well as financially because it allowed me to see the good in people. They’ve played a big part of my journey towards a better path.”

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