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Debbie's journey with our financial inclusion team

Herman Khosah

Written by Herman Khosah, senior marketing executive

Debbie had lost her social connections and confidence due to the breakdown of her marriage. She had relied on her ex-husband financially and began to become very worried about her own financial situation, her only income being Personal Independence Payments.

“I was really worried about how I would manage on less than £260 a month. I decided to call Home Group as I didn't want to fall behind on my rent payments and risk losing my home."

“I spoke to customer service, and they suggested a referral to their financial inclusion team. Soon after I received a call from Zara Kelly, the financial inclusion manager. I explained how worried I was about my situation, and we began to work together on an action plan to help improve my finances."

Our financial inclusion team helped carry out a benefit check and instantly found out that Debbie was entitled to claim Universal Credit. The team then set out an action plan to help improve Debbie’s finances and made sure she would be offered the right support at every step.

“It was a relief to see the support I was getting, I felt fragile and my whole life was changing. I was relieved to have someone at the end of the phone to help me through this. It was nice to feel that someone cared and wanted to help again."

“I claimed Universal Credit online and Zara made sure it all went smoothly. Zara then helped me with the job centre and arranged for me to have online appointments instead, this was a huge help due to my disability."

“Zara was a huge help throughout the process and even made sure I had someone to contact when she went on holiday. I always had support and someone to talk to."

We were able to increase Debbie’s income to an additional £1208 per year by helping her claim Universal Credit, Limited Capability for Work Related Activity, an additional bedroom for overnight care and Council Tax Support. She also found out she was entitled to the Warm Home Discount of £150 and Cost-of-Living Payments totalling £900 for the year.

Thanks to the help from Zara and the financial inclusion team, she is back to enjoying life.

“I’m so thankful for the support I received from Home Group, I’m finally happy again. It’s amazing how far you can get with a little bit of drive and support. I would advise anyone who is struggling to seek help."

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