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Hardship fund grant pays for vital baby items

Two customers have spoken of the positive impact our new Improving Lives Hardship Fund has had on their families.

We’ve launched the fund to help us do even more to support our customers through these difficult times.

It provides practical, one-off support to those customers most in need of help to alleviate the stress caused by financial hardship.

Recently, it’s been used to help two customers with young families who were struggling due to Coronavirus restrictions.

Victoria Blythe, from Rutland, was referred to the fund for some baby clothes after her eight-month-old son had outgrown his previous clothes.

She said she’d been made redundant at the end of her maternity leave, meaning she’d very little money and hadn’t had time to get out to buy him new clothes during lockdown.

Victoria said: “I was struggling for clothes for my son and I hadn’t been able to get anywhere to get him stuff.

“I hadn’t managed to get round to it as my daughter, who also has arthritis, had also been in and out of hospital.

“I was left with only about £300 so that left me short on rent.

“I didn’t know where to turn. I got a call from my Housing Officer to see if there was anything they could do to help.

“I was reluctant to say anything at first, as I don’t like asking for help but I knew I needed to accept some help.

“She was brilliant. She asked me to go online and pick what bits I needed.

“It’s one less thing for me to worry about. I now know my little one has more sleep suits and clothes to last him until this is over. It’s a weight off my mind.

“It makes me feel like people are kind and caring and want to look out for you.”

Another customer, Ronan Gothard, also praised our Hardship Fund after it was used to help him and his girlfriend with supplies for their new-born son.

Living at Family+ at Sleaford Foyer, the couple were in need of support. Ronan said the help and support “made things easier.”

He said: “We were struggling to get things like sterilisers, so to be able to get them means a lot.

“It’s helped us lots and made things easier. It’s made a huge difference and has helped us out a lot.

“We’re all so thankful and it’s a great help as we’ve now been able to get a lot more new things for him.”

Charmaine Simei, Director of Community Investment, said: “We’re committed to supporting our customers with their financial, emotional and physical wellbeing.

“To know that we could help Victoria, Ronan and their families during this difficult time is really important to us. We wish them well.”

Couple with their baby
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