Mark and Liz's Story
We first saw Mark and Liz some time ago as they were struggling with repaying an IVA. Mark had to give up work due to a break down. Their rent was approx. £700 and life was a huge struggle. Along with emotional support, we helped them begin winding down the IVA into a bankruptcy, but all this took time, approx. 15 months.
Unfortunately, they were not entitled to housing benefit as their grownup children were working. This meant that the children 'kept their parents' which put a huge strain on the relationship and their depression spiralled downwards.
We also helped them with food from the foodbank during this time, gas & electric via the Warm Homes Healthy People grants, and little monetary gift from Acts 435 so that they could get a tiny bit of respite during the process. They were often so despondent sitting opposite me and not being able to do much to help them apart from emotional support.
Things began to get better when they were awarded a one-bedroom house of their own, but they didn't have any furniture or any money to make necessary purchases. We did help them with their essential items through Acts 435 and Suffolk County Council's Local Welfare Assistance fund.
Both Mark and Liz came to our first ever REACH Boxing Day lunch and bringing the story up to date, their (IVA) creditors met and agreed that they were happy to accept the payments that had already been made via the IVA and agreed to wipe the slate for them meaning that they became completely debt free going forward.
We invited them in to see us, but didn't tell them why we needed to see them... When we told them, they just melted with tears streaming down their faces, the relief was palpable!