George Sumner had a steady job until a series of personal tragedies struck and left him in a desperate situation.
Struggling to put food on the table and facing the real prospect of losing his home, George felt he had nowhere to turn.
Now, thanks to the help of our Money Matters team, George is in a much healthier financial position and is receiving the right support to tackle some long standing health issues.
This is his story…
“The last 15 years have been a real rollercoaster to say the least.
“I had a steady job and had worked all my life. Then my wife became ill and I essentially became her carer. It was devastating to see her health deteriorate and I had to give up my job of 24 years to care for her full time. My wife’s health got worse and sadly she passed away several years ago. I was devastated - it left me in a really dark place battling my own mental health issues.
“Once my wife passed away I had to pay for her care costs, which left me pretty much destitute. I had to sell our home to cover the costs and ended up living in a caravan for some time. I was fortunate enough to get a flat with Weaver Vale but my problems didn’t stop there.
“My flat was gutted in a fire and I pretty much lost everything – it had a major effect on my mental health.
“Weaver Vale managed to find me another property but I became very confused and lost complete control of my finances.
“I was in a really desperate situation and ended up at the foodbank. I had worked pretty much all my life and now I was relying on charity. I faced with some stark choices – do I buy food or spend what little money I have heating the house? It was a horrible feeling and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
“I was also worried about losing the roof over my head because I was behind with my rent. All this bad luck had taken its toll and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when Kelly and the Money Matters team came to my rescue.
“Kelly is an absolute star. She sat me down and went through the whole process with me. We went through my finances and looked at what benefits I would be entitled to. She arranged appointments for me and even came along and supported me at my assessment interview. Due to my ill health, I was able to access benefits I never knew I was entitled to – she literally saved my skin.
“Kelly even sorted out my council tax and helped me repay an outstanding water bill from a previous property. She was so caring and literally did everything for me. Not only did she help me with my finances, but she also supported me with addressing my mental health as well.
“With the Money Matters team’s help, I now have a care package in place to help me. I pay for an outreach team to visit me once a week and they are helping me address some of my long-standing mental health issues. I’m taking things step-by-step, day-by-day and I’m in a much better place.
“It also helps being in a really nice neighbourhood. I love working in the garden and I’ve got some brilliant neighbours. They have been really supportive and even cooked me a Christmas dinner over the festive period. I have a real passion for art and several of my paintings have gone on display across Northwich. It’s all giving me the springboard to get my life back on track.
“The finances were a big barrier in terms of getting myself healthy. I would dread to think where I would be without Kelly and the Money Matters team’s help. I now have a grip on my finances and I can focus on getting better. I can’t praise them enough”
Kelly Worthington is the Weaver Vale Housing Trust Money Advisor who supported George.
She said: “The change I’ve seen in George since working with him has been remarkable.
“”When I first met George he was sat in a heap on the floor and he couldn’t look me in the eye. He couldn’t afford to heat his house and he was clearly in a very bad place.
“He has come along way since then. Not only is he in a better place financially, but it has been really encouraging to see a real improvement in his health as well.”
To speak to Kelly or another member of our Money Matters team please call 01606 813341/813470 or email money firstname.lastname@example.org