Customer Stories

Case study: Mrs S

"I was in a really bad situation and I didn't know what to do," recalls Mrs S.

The breakdown of Mrs S family left the 40-year-old in the midst of a crisis. Suffering from depression, anxiety, and other serious health problems, S was unable to work but had been left to pay rent alone in the family's former home.

"It was impossible. My family breaking down was hard enough but I wasn't working and there was no way I could afford the rent on my own," she explains.

"The inevitable happened and I was asked to vacate the home by my landlord. I was left homeless, depressed and helpless."

Not knowing what to do S contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau in Wellingborough, which is a member organisation of Support Northamptonshire. She was immediately referred into the system.

"Things moved so quickly," she explains. "It had been so hard but the team were just wonderful. They were so friendly and they couldn't do enough to help.

"Everything had got on top of me - my family situation, my health, and my finances. I didn't know where to turn and I didn't know who to talk to.

"But Support Northamptonshire just linked me up to everything. The team even got me to the doctors so I could get my health back on track and they sorted things out with the council so quickly to get me a new home.

"Just three weeks after seeking help I had moved into a new home - it was just rapid."

For Mrs S Support Northamptonshire is a vital support network.

"It is so important and effective to have a network of organisations linking together.

"For me the prospect of having to sort it out alone was too much because I just didn't know where to go and I was in no state to find out how. But Support Northamptonshire made it so easy. They go the extra mile and then another extra mile just to be certain.

"Thanks to them my life is back on track."

Case study: D

"Support Northamptonshire saved my life," explains D as she recounts the help she received.

After a long and happy marriage D was devastated to witness her husband of 30 years become a stranger before her very eyes as the result of a serious illness.

"He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and it changed his personality completely," 61-year-old D continues.

"It was just awful. The man I had known and loved for all those years who had been so caring and looked after me had disappeared and been replaced by a monster. He would just be constantly abusive to me verbally and he had changed beyond recognition. I was reduced to a wreck and my self-esteem was just non-existent.

"I knew I was going to lose him to cancer but in a way I had already lost him. I didn't want to abandon my husband but I just couldn't cope anymore - it was impossible to stay."

Having exhausted various organisations and consulted everyone she could think of who could help, D was left hopeless.

As well as the emotional turmoil she had gone through, D had also been left with significant financial problems.

"I couldn't afford legal help and cuts to legal aid meant I couldn't qualify for assistance. So I was just completely stuck and couldn't get access to any of the funds we had together," she continues.

"It was just too much to cope with. I would go to sleep at night hoping I wouldn't wake up.

"Then a friend of mine mentioned Support Northamptonshire to me and I managed to get an interview with the team.

"Things changed virtually overnight, I just couldn't believe it. I had struggled for so long and then suddenly there was someone who could help.

"The team were incredible and within days I had an appointment with Women's Aid and the local authority's housing officer to get things moving. They coordinated everything."

D has since moved into a new home and re-established contact with her husband.

"My life has been transformed. In fact I can say categorically that is has been saved. I had reached the point where I was suicidal and utterly hopeless and Support Northamptonshire was the light at the end of the tunnel.

"There must be so many people in a similar situation to the one I was in and don't know this help is out there but it is so important.

"And the team are just incredible - it is very clear that it's more than just a job to them and they really go the extra mile."

Case study: E

"The support E got was simply outstanding," explains family friend Mrs C.

Mrs C, a close family friend had become increasingly concerned about E following the death of her mother.

E, 45, suffers from severe learning disabilities and after moving out of a home she shared with her partner found herself with nowhere to go.

Mrs C, a pensioner, took E in but was unable to house her permanently because of her tenancy agreement.

"It was really difficult," explains Mrs C.

"E has always been very vulnerable and she had made the decision to leave without really knowing where she was going to go.

"She had always been with her mum so she didn't really know how to function on her own. I was so worried about her.

"She was basically sofa-surfing for two years, with nowhere permanent to stay. I did what I could but I couldn't give her the support she needed. I didn't know what to do."

Mrs C found out about Support Northamptonshire and contacted an adviser in the hope of finding a solution. Within six weeks the team had liaised with the housing authority and E had been moved into specialist accommodation for people with learning disabilities awaiting a permanent home. Her support is ongoing.

"I couldn't believe it," continues Mrs C.

"It had felt like the system had missed E, she had been living like that for so long and then suddenly we had a solution. Support Northamptonshire were just fantastic - they made it happen in such a short space of time and now E's future looks so much brighter.

"I have always felt so responsible for her because I have been a close friend of the family's for decades. It was a constant worry to me because she is so vulnerable but now I know she has the support she needs.

"I would say to anyone who is struggling to get in touch with Support Northamptonshire. The level of support is just fantastic and once you have made the call and told your story they make sure they do the rest. In E's case it has transformed her quality of life."

Case study: S

"Having someone there to listen, someone who cares and is willing to help you just makes a world of difference" explains S.

For S, the help of Support Northamptonshire came just in time.

"I don't really know where I would be without it," she continues.

"Life had become so difficult and I'd reached breaking point."

Things took a turn for the worse when the health of S's husband A deteriorated rapidly and she suddenly found herself caring for him full time while trying to hold down a job.

"It was so hard, he has had health problems for a while, but things got worse quite quickly and after a spell in hospital he came home and was a shadow of the man who had gone in.

"He couldn't walk anymore and he needed me to care for him all the time. So I was trying to hold down a job and care for my husband

"It took such a physical and mental toll on me. The house we were living in just wasn't suitable any more - I was having to carry him around by myself and there were problems that the landlord hadn't fixed, like a broken boiler, so we were living without heating.

"On top of that our finances started to become pressured. We were renting privately and I wasn't working as much because I needed to look after A, so I couldn't afford it any more. We even had to sell some of our furniture just to be able to pay."

Under so much pressure S became depressed. Desperate for help, she contacted Wellingborough MIND, a Support Northamptonshire partner, for mental health support and was referred into the scheme straight away.

"From that day on things started to get so much easier. There was no stress of calling a load of 0845 numbers, or having to arrange appointments with ten different organisations, the support was coordinated right from the start and fantastic in every way. We were assigned someone who I know call my fairy godmother because I feel like she is always there if I have a problem.

"I got support for everything - our finances, housing - even simple things like help filling out application forms properly, it all makes such a huge difference."

Within days of being referred a Support Northamptonshire case worker had contacted the landlord to fix the broken boiler and initiated help from a host of partner agencies to get the couple help with their finances and finding a more suitable home. Within a few months S and A had been moved into an adapted home and their life had been turned around.

"It just amazing," continues S. "The support has been absolutely incredible and the dedication shown to help me is remarkable. Our lives are so much better now. The house is ideal for A because it is adapted for his disabilities and I still know I can call on support when I need it.

"I only had to tell my story once and I got the help that I needed to turn my life around."