Posted: 19 November 2014

Local welfare assistance helped rebuild Caroline and her family’s lives after a fire

Caroline shares her experience of how a Local Welfare Assistance scheme saved her from unaffordable debt, and helped her to rebuild her life and continue caring for her grandchildren after a fire left her homeless, with nothing.

Find out more about Local Welfare Assistance schemes. 

Caroline’s Story

When a fire destroyed the contents of my flat, local welfare assistance helped me through the worst of it.

I lost everything, I lost all my clothing, the last £10 that I had in my name, which was supposed to get me through the week. Everything was completely gone. So on the day of the fire all I had was what I was standing up in.

I’m disabled and look after my three young grandchildren on weekends. After the fire they couldn’t come and stay with me and they were confused and upset. I felt awful, like I was letting them down. Straight after the fire the scheme gave me shopping vouchers to buy basics like toiletries and a change of clothes. I was given a food parcel to keep me from going hungry.

I was forced to move into temporary accommodation – a hostel – for several months while the flat was fixed and cleaned. Months after the fire, when I was finally able to go back to my empty flat, local welfare assistance helped with the cost of a bed, chest of drawers and a fridge. This support meant I could look after my grandchildren again.

Without help from the scheme, I might have had to take out loans which I couldn't afford. I really don’t know what I would have done. This fund is really important for people who are struggling. It helped keep me and my family together.

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