Names have been changed for anonymity purposes.

“Margaret” & “Karl” (not their real names), were living as a couple on Teesside but, after threats of physical violence, had to leave.  Karl had bought goods on the “black market”, then after various exchanges on social media, where he criticised those concerned with the “deal”, he was subjected to harassment at their then home.

By February 2014, the situation became so difficult that they believed they had no option but to move elsewhere.  At this time Margaret, who had been adopted as a child, had begun to build a relationship with her biological sister, hence, decided to move in with her in Worksop.

Unfortunately, this did not work out, the place was far too small and unsuitable.  After a few days, Karl moved to HOPE’s Hostel, shortly followed by Margaret (who has a learning disability and significant mobility issues).

Claire Robinson, one of HOPE’s Crisis Support Team, then began to work with them to identify more suitable and accessible local accommodation.  In August 2014, a ground floor flat was secured through A1 Housing (Bassetlaw District Council’s housing association), in rural Harworth of north Nottinghamshire.

This was not the end of their challenges nor the support provided by HOPE.  An example would be budgeting & money management – when they first moved to this picturesque village a few miles from Worksop, they could not always afford the bus fare to Worksop.  They would be unable to attend pre-scheduled appointments at the Job Centre, and have no phone credit to notify the Advisor.  Claire would be contacted via Facebook and would liaise with JCP to reschedule, and ensure no sanctions resulted which could have made the situation a whole lot worse.

By April 2015, their situation has improved greatly, they are both much more settled & happier.  Claire is now helping Margaret take the next step – through receipt of a “Personal Independence Payment” (previously Disability Living Allowance), Margaret has been able to adapt the property to fit her needs, and is hoping to gain support through the “mobility scheme” to get a car.  This will significantly improve their quality of life, as she struggles using public transport due to her mobility and has to have Karl with her at all times, due to risk of falling. And, it will allow Margaret to visit her children back in Stockton, for the first time since leaving.