Hi Paul , thank you for your Question I think for me what has changed since I joined is that I have become more resilient … I have gained lots of beneficial knowledge about the work that’s being done. My contributions have allowed me to rebuild my confidence that was destroyed by my ex employer.
This has allowed my family to see that Adversity can hit hard but you can with courage stand up again.
I have just read blogs/ articles written by other CR participants ….. I feel touched and also saddened by others people's realities. At the same time I feel hopeful too because CR is providing us a platform to work together to be heard.
It’s nice hearing/seeing other people’s views on how to get through certain situations. Helps you realise that you’re not the only one out there that has struggles and it helps to inspire ideas to help with future events. I have found it to be useful and does help when you feel a little low in mood.
Day 2 of this rain. I went as far as the wheely bin in the garden but never bothered to get dressed. Not much point putting on clean clothes to sit in the house.
Lots of flooding shown on social media. Feeling the loneliness today.
Nobody has made contact with me. I could try first contact with someone else, but I feel stuck for what to say without depressing them. Radiator downstairs is not heating up. It's constant repairs in this house. Can hear drips of rain come down the chimney. I am grateful for the reward for the extra I provided for this project. I only went and messed up wanting to spend it online.
I missed alerter out on my email. I filled in online form for help from love to shop and hope to hear soon.
I googled how to raise extra money. There are apps to do surveys and watch adverts for pennies. It's frustrating as I have no motivation. Feel spaced out and drowsy on these meds. Sitting waiting for HMRC to send a letter for tax credits to stop, to make a claim for U.C is anxiety provoking. Do they give you notice of a date?
I feel grateful throughout all of this time, because no matter what, no matter how bad things get, we survive. That's a hugely important message I want my son to take away from his childhood. You can get through anything and at some point, things will level out and we will be ok.
The roof needs repairing, and the roofer has said that I can pay him in instalments! How amazing is that?!
I am slowly changing my mindset because I realise the impact that poverty has had on me is to make the previously happy and hopeful person I was, into a very depressed person, the cup has definitely been half empty. But I want to change that for myself and for my son.
I am a survivor of adversity, of trauma, and that is an amazing thing I think. I am one of the lucky ones.
It isn't easy to change your mindset when things are difficult and when maybe you didn't have the best start in life either, but I am trying because I want a better life for myself and for my son and despite the challenges we face, there is so much to be thankful for.
I am currently in intensive therapy and slowly, the lady I am working with is helping me to develop a toolkit of coping strategies. I'd like to share these with my son in a positive way and help him to see that his own reality can be better. No matter how tough things get, we are here and we are survivors.
I appreciate the Covid Realities and subsequent Changing Realities projects and the teams and partners, very much. The experience of being involved in these has been so uplifting and there are so many reasons to never give up. I have become an activist, I have become a person who sees the truth behind so many things, that's priceless. The projects have expanded me as a person and made me better in many ways. How lucky I am to have experienced this.
I do feel sad that the projects will be coming to an end, but I will be forever grateful to have taken part.
I am surprised to hear that some media channels say the cost of living crisis is over.
I have never seen any information online or on TV. I have not heard anyone speak of this.
If so I would be writing about it in my diary. I would have hope again.
Food costs are still rising and private rental homes are still increasing, here in Stonehaven.
I noticed my broadband bill has jumped from £25 to £31.99 and I've not had heating on throughout the summer.
I am looking forward to the children starting school in September, so that I don't have to pay nursery fees any longer. I am looking forward to saving some money from those fees to perhaps put towards driving lessons, as this is something I've never been able to afford to do. I will really miss Changing Realities, and the end of the project is something I am not looking forward to.
Hearing everyone's stories, the support has been a lifeline! We need this support for people and campaigns to make life better, FSM for all primary children across UK would be a great start, but universal basic income will also help and decent pay rises which value public sector and key workers who help others for a living.
Back to reality! I have just had a wonderful 2 days with researchers and participants of the project in London for the lobby day. I didn't have a care in the world and felt I was truly among friends. It really did not feel that I was meeting people for the first time. When I returned home, it seemed to come to a sudden end, bills on the doormat, a lack of food in the fridge and no milk for a nice cup of tea. I am so grateful to be able to be a part of this magnificent project, when I look back now I feel joining this project was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Never before have I sat in a lovely cafe as an adult making zines, it looked a bit like the corner of a nursery with a table full of paper scraps, glue sticks, scissors and pens, but not a child in sight. How wonderful this felt and gave inspiration. The project has helped me build my confidence, realise that I am not the only single parent that is facing these types of problems, worries and difficulties, also it has had a huge effect on the lives of my daughter and myself both mentally and physically. Keep up the good work all in fighting for change. I look forward to working with you all in the future and hopefully meeting you all again soon.
Today has been a interesting day, went to sports day with my partner to see her son participate. Was great to see him get 2 firsts which was amazing, really happy for him, then went to have some lunch at the local pub, was nice to have some alone time, nice food and nice place to have food. Nice to get some down time from all the stresses of late, having to get help with my mental health a lot recently. Been great to see our puppy getting better after the weekend, worried about his back legs as they gave out but antibiotics seem to be bringing him back to normal. Have not done one of these for a long time, but know that writing down how you are feeling helps with your mental health so felt this was a good thing to do today.
Informing DWP of a change in circumstances brings nothing but bad memories to me. Seven years ago my partner who was working left the family home, leaving me with the responsibility of looking after our daughter. When I phoned to report this, child tax credits were stopped immediately along with my daughters free school meals. I was told that I would have to change over to universal credit or continue to survive on the new style ESA as a single person. On top of this the child benefit was being paid into my partners account, which took almost 2 years before it was paid directly to me as they needed my ex partner to inform them of this, during which time I did not receive any financial or other help from my ex in order to support our daughter. I also did not receive any help or advice from DWP in gaining information about where to go for help. It was only through joining Covid /Changing realities, that I started to find out about other help available such as water help with the cost of water bills, food banks, etc. Until this time I had been left broken, financially, mentally and physically, by the very people who are supposed to help and support those in desperate need, struggling to survive and support their children.
Would just like to say the recent poll carried out, to put forward the most popular to the York University Research Group, was in my humble opinion very difficult to choose between. There needed to be an option to "put forward all of the above"?!?
Maybe I think too much but I had a really hard time picking only one, although I'm very glad the increase in child benefit benefit did come out top!