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 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.
No, I don't think so. My income is not high enough to cover the extra food cost. Income was same as before pandemic but food and basic needs price not gone to pre-pandemic level. Every day, need to think which things to cut for extra things to buy. Now life gone for compromise and adjust.
I want to start by saying that I’m managing, that I’m not broken, but, that I know I can’t keep things going as the situation stands, without significant impacts.
That’s what I want to speak about, the impact of poverty on my physical and mental health. How, if I track my life from 2019 to now, I can see just how messed up things have become.
It wouldn’t matter how much money I had right now in a way, the damage is done.
Poverty, slowly but steadily, removes your true voice. It takes away the strength to fight, to believe that we are worthy.
Over time, our friends have stopped asking us to attend events, stopped inviting us to places because we cannot afford to join them. Our circle has reduced so much and as a single parent to a child with additional needs, that has slowly destroyed my sense of self worth and my ability to get out and try to enjoy life.
My body ‘feels’ broken. I am experiencing a very difficult menopause and despite multiple attempts to garner healthcare support, I am unable to due to a family history of cancer. I’ve given up asking. So I just suffer and I don’t use that word lightly.
I can’t properly care for myself any longer, and that is so very sad to me. I gave up smoking and drinking alcohol, I tried to eat healthily but it’s so expensive now.
I recently had a minor accident and really hurt my foot. I absorbed the pain and carried on because there is only me to take care of things. I found out from my doctor when I could finally get in, that I have a suspected hairline fracture on my foot. I’ve just carried on, because although rationally I know I need to rest, realistically, I can’t. I can’t afford to get help to do jobs in my home and I have no one to help with my son.
I absorb the pain and I think well this is all you can do, but it makes me so so sad that I even matter so little to myself now.
I am not the person I was in September 2019. When I finally had help with my son, I had a part time job, I had possibilities and a bit of hope. I was building back up after difficult times and honestly thought we can do this, things will get better, they haven’t.
Recently, my stepfather died and the devastating effects of that have hit me hard. I come from a fractured family and have no support at all from them. They hid his death and I found out by accident. I cannot tell you how that felt and as I add that to the mountain of suffocating beliefs that I don’t deserve better, I know that getting out of this dark place has become something I just cannot see.
Whilst I keep telling myself you aren’t broken, the reality is a very different story…
I’m trying hard to keep the faith and I support others through voluntary work and a listening ear, so it isn’t over, yet.
I wanted so much more for my son, how sad that so much greed and apathy to the lives of people on low incomes has rendered any dreams that I had, void.
I do think that we have survived a lot, and maybe we can get through. But the crisis in the actual ‘cost’ of living this way is far from over for so many of us.
4 years of not knowing how. Going through ups and downs of a breakdown of a marriage, shared parenting and downhill projection of what I would be financially capable of, and finally it was here - my first abroad holiday post divorce. Although I would have loved it with my kids, having that ‘Pray, Eat, Love’ movie moment was also necessary. I might not have had the endless pocket money to spend on things, putting presents to bring back for my kids the main priority, the experience of feeling refreshed was souvenir enough.
Finally what I wasn’t expecting, was that in Britain we might be complaining of the cost of living, but in the Mediterranean it is something they have come to terms with and just knuckle down and work as hard as they possibly can. Their restlessness inspires me that however my year will end, I will not give up on dreaming of getting to my end goal too and that is to be on the road back to work as well. Sometimes fresh inspiration is all you need to spark the innovative ways, in order to create your own opportunities in life. Cost of living will not continue to define the goals I haven’t achieved, anymore.
Today's a bit crap, running low on food, but can't wait for kids to go back to school, elec bill high, don't know what I'm going to do, but it is what it is, it's hard but we get on with it.
I am looking forward to going back to work and for Christmas. I am looking to try and pay off my debts and face my fears.
It’s a case of you just have to make it work somehow.
My child is in year one and I pay for her milk which at times I couldn’t afford so she misses it a few days at a time.
She’s not had many trips that have needed money but when a trip has come up I’ve paid for it right away and adjusted another bill to get around it.
I find the cost of clothing and footwear expensive and I’m dreading the point when she gets to secondary school as it will cost me hundreds more!
School uniform is affordable for primary school age. What I find is the awkwardness on what they need to wear, especially a p.e kit.
I’m hoping to save some uniform away for my youngest daughter as she is a twin. So when they start school I feel like I’m going to have to save a lot of money to cover everything they need.
Adequate income, very interesting question.
Income is a changing need depending on what the household is doing /lifestyles etc.
I was on a very stable income £2000 a month , on this I managed to feel stable, secure ( able to save a little) we had a good balanced diet , one holiday abroad each year with several trips around the UK.
This was my adequate income because I could provide things like clubs, subscriptions, lessons etc for my children. We enjoyed going out for leisure, meals, cinemas etc. we spent within our limits and had little money worries.
So I suppose having a regular adequate income could provide what I have mentioned for a household.
Unfortunately I lost my income and survived on very little ( £600 per month for two years )
I did not want to face humiliation from benefit system and was too sick to work.
I spent time on my recovery to get a suitable dignified job that I am happy in and now have a salary.
The change in my income brought on a whole set of new issues which I had to deal with at the same time trying to heal myself . This in itself took a humongous amount of willpower , determination and resilience. Big Hurdles...still not living on an adequate income. I feel this will take some time for me to reach.
I think an adequate monthly income for me and my family would be around £2,600 - £3,000.
As a single parent I have taken on a second job to boost my income has one wage means we can't eat properly.
I currently earn from both jobs just under £2K and am still struggling. It would be nice not to have to go to food banks or collect surplus food just to be able to feed my kids properly.
It would be nice to book a holiday and have spending money to be able to treat my kids.
I work on average 55 hours a week and also take on extra hours where I can to boost our income for a holiday or when my car needs repairs etc.
Luckily I have ADHD so have a lot of energy without needing much food etc and am able to sustain working long hours without getting tired. I do however still experience burn out from time to time but just carry on.
My ex partner left me in October 2019. I had to go to the job centre to make a claim for Universal Credit has my wage wasn't enough to pay the mortgage, bills and my 2 children. I made the claim in October and did not receive any money until the January 2020. This meant I had to use foodbanks and that Christmas was the hardest ever. Luckily I managed to still get Christmas pressies has I went to charity shops and a friend helped me out. I was made to feel I was begging for money when I was working full time. Since then I actually got a second job and earn my own money so I don't have to claim anything. If it wasn't for food banks we would have gone hungry over those few months. Before I would have just thought, get myself a job or go back to UNI. I was already doing those things so I felt helpless and worthless even tho I was working. I was also recovering from cancer and remember thinking I don't have time to be ill and just carried on. The positive was I gained strength from a place I didn't know I had until then. This will carry me through anything now.
My most difficult time is the cost of living is so high now everything, you go the market with £30 and when you finish shopping 🛒 you will be calculating and asking yourself what did I buy now is not easy. But we have to be strong thank you Changing Realities.🙏