Paul from Speedwell was suffering a great deal of hardship when he was referred to Pennywise. After spending some time in a hostel, he had been able to move into a one bedroom flat. However, with high electricity costs and debts that he needed to pay back, he was finding it a huge struggle to make ends meet.
For several weeks he had been forced to live in the freezing cold without any heating as he had no money for his meter, and he had not eaten properly for days. Paul’s Places for People support worker Jess realised that he needed some help putting together a household budget and referred him to Pete from Pennywise.
Pete was able to help Paul lower his heating costs by giving him information on how to use his economy 7 tariff correctly, as well as arranging for the Centre for Sustainable Energy to visit his flat to give him some specialist advice. This helped him to reduce his electricity costs and keep his home warm through the winter.
To help Paul clear his debts without compromising his health a referral was made to the Matthew Tree Project, where he was supported with food for six weeks. Paul could then use the household budget he’d set with Pete to plan ahead for all of his necessary spending, and had a few weeks of breathing space where he didn’t have to worry about food costs. Savvy Shopping tips and tools from Pete will also keep the amount of money he spends on food down in the future.
Paul felt that Pennywise helped him immensely and said “The service will work if you want it to. People who work closely with their mentor will get fantastic benefits. I now know where to refer other people for help who are in similar or worse situations”.
He added “My health is getting better, I’ve got less worry and I’m thinking straight because bills are getting sorted out and I can have something to eat.”