I am writing this after months of intense work supporting one of our clients in claiming benefits as she starts to rebuild a positive future for her and her son. She has faced significant barriers and multiple challenges in this process.
Take, for example, the challenge of opening a bank account to enable benefits to be paid. We had 5 trips in person to various bank branches, 3 online attempts to apply, 3 trips to the GP to request a letter proving her address (for which she had to pay £20), lost bank cards and a huge amount of confusion, conflicting advice and stress. The result is that her mental health significantly deteriorated, she was not able to sleep and ended up being relocated to new accommodation. We are so pleased to now say she has a fully functioning bank account and is starting to receive benefits, but the stress caused cannot be underestimated. This may be a relatively minor task for many of us, but for some of our survivors, it can seem immense #smallstepstransforminglives .