Resident supported by Breathing Space Fund

Some of our residents have been receiving help from our Breathing Space Fund. Here’s Bill’s story. 

Bill was struggling with paying his rent. His previous partner had dealt with their finances but since the relationship had broken down, Bill had started to have issues with his utility bills and council tax payments, and unfortunately found himself in rent arrears.  

Once we knew Bill was having trouble, we stepped in to help and one of our Welfare Benefit Officers went to meet him. 

In their very first conversation, they learnt that Bill found managing bills and financial matters overwhelming as he wasn’t used to dealing with them. On top of that, his energy provider wanted to put in a pre-payment meter, which Bill didn’t want.  

We spent time with Bill and helped him to see what other payments he might be eligible for including housing benefit and a Personal Independent Payment (PIP) application. 

Short-term help

Recognising that Bill needed something immediate to provide some breathing space, an application was made on Bill’s behalf to our Breathing Space Fund, which provides short-term support to people who need financial help due to the rising costs of food, fuel, rent and other household bills. 

His application for £250 to help until other finances were in place was accepted and processed quickly, some going to pay off Bill’s outstanding rent and some going to his energy provider. This also enabled Bill to keep his monthly payment meter. 

Long-term support

Recognising that there was a risk Bill could go back to struggling with his finances, we also helped Bill to carry out a budget exercise in order to set things up so that he could manage better in the future.  

This included looking at his daily expenditure against the income from his pension as well as working with partners to build Bill’s network of support including access to a food bank when needed.  

Whilst Bill’s needs are ongoing, he is now happier and feels his health and wellbeing has improved as a result of our support and the Breathing Space fund, which helped to tide him over through a difficult time.  

Bill said: “Thanks to Mount Green’s support, I feel like life is less stressful.”  

You can find out more about our Breathing Space Fund here: https://mountgreen.org.uk/breathing-space-fund/ 

We have also launched a support fund for our shared ownership scheme residents who may be struggling during the current cost-of-living crisis. Find out more here: https://mountgreen.org.uk/shared-owners-fund/