DG is a young man who had been in care and was just about to go into his first tenancy. I supported him during the move and worked with him to set up all of his utilities and the installation of payment meters for both his gas and electricity. He was in receipt of JSA and had attended a course for 2 years, supported by the leaving care team. His third and final year was 2011/2012 and he was really looking forward to finishing his 3rd year business course. September came and I realised that he would not be able to continue his course as he was no longer getting help from the leaving care team. We tried everything to try and get him money to allow him to continue his last year at college but to no avail. He couldn't claim JSA as he attend a full time course. This was a bitter blow for DG and he became a little despondent, however, with regular visits and lots of time, we discussed his options and he decided to finish his college course and look for work.
He has now found himself a job working in a local bar and is really positive about his future, he also attends the local gym and remains a very happy and well adjusted young man.
I have had the pleasure to work with DG through a really rough time, he has amazed me with his positive outlook and his willingness to adapt to situations that would, under normal circumstances, break a person. I am very proud to be able to tell a little of his story, we have only scratched the surface, but it has been a really tough 2011 for him.
JP is an ex-soldier living in the CCB with this wife and young child was referred to Supporting People due to rent arrears. There were no benefits in place and although JP was seeking employment he had no contact with the Jobcentre. Neither JP nor his wife had good budgeting skills and were in financial difficulty. JP appeared to be suffering as a result of his military experiences - so, a referral was made to Gofal.
Support was provided to complete housing application forms to apply for a more permanent residence, budgeting plan put in place so that JP is aware of income, outgoings and how they can save. Meal planning is being put in place to avoid waste and save money. JP has been referred to pathways project for help with access to courses in the building trade. JP has been supported to register with a GP and referral made to mental health team so he can be assessed for possible post traumatic stress disorder.
JP Said, "I can honestly say that my life is worth something now..she knows exactly what was wrong and she has written a support plan that mirrors my problems and is helping exactly as I need..without the support from Gofal I do not feel that I would be here today and strong enough and capable enough of re-starting my life."
Mrs CT is facing re procession, is separated from her Husband and working full time with two children. We supported to apply successfully for her Tax Credits to be increased from £10 a week to £98 per week and got it back dated for 6 weeks. Her debts are now being addressed via CAB and she continues to have support to deal with Council Tax arrears. At first contact was difficult as the referrer was SS and the Family were wary, There is now a trusting relationship between client and worker.
Mr RT is sofa surfing and has had no benefits for weeks. We supported to get benefit in place and got a back date of over £200 paid immediately into his account. Discovered he was being over looked for housing as not registered for one bed properties, and referred him to GOFAL who will assess and award additional housing points for his mental health condition, This crisis work was achieved on a first visit and RT was pleased to say the least. I quote "why didn't I know of you years ago" he has on going support.
Miss L & Mr S both vulnerable and Adults, have learning disabilities and dyslexia had taken a private rented flat, their first home. On arrival discover they had no HB on and were over two Months in rent arrears and ignoring the Landlords calls, they also had arrears with all utilities. By our second visit HB was on with a full award of £65 per week and a back dated payment of over £800 was being sent direct to the Landlord. A vulnerable Adult form completed so payments continued to be paid direct for the rent. Water payments arranged to be deducted directly from their DWP benefits, and pre payment meters installed for gas and electric fitted to the property. They continue to receive support.
Mr MS had been a client for some time on and off and was referred back recently. We established the notice he had been given by his Landlord to quit the tenancy was illegal and offered housing/homelessness advice and supported him to attend Shelter's drop in, the eviction was stopped. As MS wants to leave the property anyway, we updated his housing application with CCBC and he is to be invited to a welcome meeting next week and we expect him to be offered alternative housing quite soon.
MB had been evicted from his private rented property and found himself staying at his son's house which was undergoing being gutted due to dry rot. Sleeping on the sofa in very awful conditions led to MB becoming depressed and starting medication. MB had applied for Council housing but was not considered a priority.
We noticed that MB's choice of area for housing was limited to Caerphilly and Senghenydd where demand is high and turn over very small, so we advised that MB should broaden his application to the whole of the county borough. As a result, within a few days MB was offered and accepted a flat in New Tredegar. We then set about furnishing his flat. MB worked very well independently and family and friends helped him with various items. We made an application for a Home Starter Pack for a fridge-freezer and obtained a second hand cooker from the Rhymney furniture enterprise. Once the tenancy was set up, MB started looking for work. We went to various local businesses and companies handing out MB's CV. Within a month MB found himself full time work ,as a welder, with a company just 5 minutes from his flat.
JW is an 83 year old lady who lived on her own and we received a referral which explained that social services were concerned about her accommodation and its safety. We had great difficulty in initially engaging in housing support due to her not opening mail or answering phone calls. But due to the persistence the support worker showed we managed to find a way to engage the lady by speaking to her postman who said he had devised a method to contact her. It transpired that the lady's home was in a very poor state and her heating was in a particularly poor state. There was some confusion over who owned the property because the lady was unclear about this, it seemed that she had a shared mortgage with the daughter who appeared to be abroad. The lady would not let her daughter be contacted so no progress could be made. After the support worker had gained her confidence by spending time with her, we are now working towards a excellent outcome in that she has now contacted her Daughter in abroad, the phone-call was successful and JW is now in agreement to proceed with the much needed improvement work on house. This is a major step forward for the lady who has mental health issues and now progress can be made towards the issues in her life that led to her property being in such a state.
CD is a 65 year old gentleman with mild learning disabilities, who had a notice to seek possession. The court appearance went well with the support worker providing a supporting statement that outlined her plans for support and a way forward for CD including a financial breakdown. This resulted in CD being given a final warning, which was a major success, and he is now receiving support to address the issues that caused him to get in this position in the first place.