Sally is just one of our customers that has benefitted from our Hardship Fund. Sally is a well-known Great Places Customer who lives alone and relies heavily on her Local Community Centre for support and advice. Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and the closure of the community centre, she has been struggling to access the advice she so desperately needs at this time.
Ahead of the current situation, Sally had her Employment Support Allowance payments stopped and a planned appeal meeting was delayed due to the current lockdown measures.
With no Wi-Fi at home, Sally was also struggling to access the new Covid-19 mutual aid group support groups that have been set up to provide support.
After contacting her Local Authority Hub for support, Sally was told to contact Great Places.
She was put in contact with her Neighbourhood Services Manager (NSM). They talked to Sally about her situation and it became clear that she was in desperate need of emergency financial support. The NSM made an urgent referral to her local food bank to ensure she had essential supplies while awaiting income from her Universal Credit claim.
Due to current delays around benefit claims and Sally’s vulnerable position, her NSM felt that it was vital to offer further help. They worked with Sally to explore avenues of additional support before looking to access an initial emergency cash payment of £30 from the recently launched Great Places Hardship Fund.
Her Hardship Fund request was processed within 24 hours by the Community Investment Fund with the support of the Finance Team. The emergency payment enabled Sally to buy additional essential supplies while waiting for her Universal Credit Claim to be paid.
Sally is receiving ongoing support from her NSM and Community Investment team. The teams are continuing to monitor her situation and explore all avenues to provide additional support.