Our experiences from "september-2022"

Che R

29 September 2022

Thankful for the High Street Voucher today; helped us to eat until Monday, with the messing around of bank holidays and payments we would not have been able to stretch so thank you all.
We are on old benefits WTC, and feeling the squeeze from all government departments to move onto UC, we are self employed and run a CIC. So scared to move; but at the moment we have to pay for prescriptions and dental care so we go without.
Advice seems to be, "go on it and wait for the 5 weeks to receive any money".

Charles K

29 September 2022

I am scared to see what the mini-budget is. For myself at the moment, Ignorance is bliss.

Charles K

29 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

So, with regards to the budget, well, I lived under a rock, I guess, for this sort of last week or so. I have absolutely no idea what's happened, what the mini-budget was. My only fear is the sterling has fallen. I've got a workplace pension, not a lot in there. I can't live off it, it wasn't open for very long, but still there's probably a few pound in there for me to have a takeaway or something once a month, once I do retire and have access to it or put it away for the kids. But one of my fears is that obviously linked on the stock market, the pound falling has sent the FTSE 100 and everything else, all the stocks, the stock market, the turmoil, that's my fear is it going to be a pension pot. You know, I'm also kind of semi. Yes, I am a Conservative Party member signed up. And yes, I did vote for Liz Truss. I'm not very happy with the direction and the way she's doing things. Personally, I wanted Penny Morgan. Penny Morgan was obviously, as we know, out of the running, so she put her weight behind Liz Truss. But, yeah, not budget related, but I'm not happy with the way the state of the country is, the financial state of the country is going. I've got no savings, but it's my workplace pension and the benefits and all the rest of it on PIP. My youngest daughter is on DLA and goes on to PIP next year. And yeah, it's worrying because we are registered disabled, we're not able to go out and fully work. It is very worrying if there are benefit cuts or we are forced into a job that we can't physically do. I would like to get back into work. I'm actually going crazy. I'm just not physically able to do what I used to do in retail and walk around everywhere. But it's very concerning. But I really do need to catch up on what the budget was. But then again, it's scary. Scary. So I guess I'm living under a rock permanently on purpose, just so I don't have that fear, I guess.

Bessie J

29 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

The 'Mini-Budget': can the Tories bully the low income families any more?
I am angry and frustrated at the selfishness, the greed. Are they determined to punish us and why?
Do they get a kick out of causing harm mentally (stress of keeping head above water) and physically (eating healthy and staying warm) to the lower paid in the UK?
I sometimes view the Tories as the "baddies" in a cartoon, but there is no ending where the baddie is caught and put in prison to allow the happy ever after for the community.
I don't understand the cruelty the Tories inflict upon us. What do they get out of this?
Do they have any compassion or empathy?
I believe there is always a reason for behaviour. Are we being tested? Is there something behind these decisions? Would it harm the wealthy to give up a fraction of income to help less fortunate?
When will this stop?

Bessie J

29 September 2022

I live rural in Scotland, there is a train and bus service into the city.
The train fare is £10 day return for 1 adult. Free bus travel is available for under 22 year olds, elderly and disabled people.
Now Stage Coach are reducing the bus timetable due to less passenger use.
To access the college, main supermarkets and hospital is now more difficult.
Only 12% of locals are on poverty line in this area. Most families have access to their own car.
As I take seizures, I cannot drive and if I could I wouldn't be able to afford the upkeep of a car.

Erik W

29 September 2022

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse. I went on to EDF energy to apply for this years warm home discount, but it is now DWP that will decide who gets it, which is being given those those classed as being on a low income and receiving means tested benefits.
This is great for some people but for those like me on Legacy benefits it will not apply, even though I only receive contribution based ESA which is the same amount I received as a single person and child benefit of £20.70 per week which I have to support myself and my daughter on with no additional help from anywhere else. This system is so unfair and needs changing immediately.

Bessie J

28 September 2022

It's been a week since the manager in the council Employability team emailed to tell me the offer on the Employability course has been withdrawn for my 16yr old.


As I sit about waiting for support as I have made all contacts with support agencies in Scotland to get back to me, we are without sufficient income to pay bills and buy food.


I am frustrated and angry. We just to sit and wait? For how long?

Lili K

28 September 2022

Received the £150 Cost of Living Payment (disability element) and have used it to top up gas and electric meters before the price rise on Saturday. Apparently this will provide electric at the current rate until the credit runs out, rather than the new rate🤞
I will also be able to set the heating to come on for an hour in the morning when our daughter gets up for school.

Savanna R

28 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

I think it’s ridiculous that once again something has been announced to help the more wealthy and not benefit those already struggling with their finances.

Ellie L

28 September 2022

My back hurt a lot yesterday. I don't think the problem is the mattress, even though that was second hand, eight years ago, but some of the bed slats are broken. Hoping I can find a bed that someone has dumped, and grab some replacement slats that might fit. I sewed 2 pairs of my son's trousers - he's only got 3 worn out pairs right now. He ordered some online as soon as his student money came in, but they weren't delivered. I spent about an hour mending an outgrown child's coat, so it's in a fit state to give away on Olio - hope it helps someone (as well as the planet!).
Will be stuck in for a whole day tomorrow, waiting for a repair visit to fix the broken kitchen fan - ventilation is really important, for health and to avoid mould, but my housing association always behaves as though tenants aren't working and just have a whole day free, which isn't true at all.

Lili K

28 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

I think the announcement of huge tax cuts for the richest in our society, along with benefit sanctions for those who work part time hours shows the absolute and utter contempt that the government has for anyone who isn't wealthy financially. It sickens me that this government only value people on how much they earn, how much they put into the economy, and their profit margins. Qualities such as caring for others, resilience, skills sharing, kindness, environmental responsibility and creativity are completely overlooked by those whose focus is on money. I am increasingly despairing of living under capitalism under Tory control.
I don't know how the changes will affect me, I am not waged, not working, not claiming Universal Credit and not likely to buy a house.
I would have liked to have seen changes that ensured UK businesses paid their taxes in the UK, pay rises to match inflation, benefits raised to match inflation, tax on energy companies used to invest in UK owned renewables, reduction of VAT on energy etc.

I wish the announcement had been based on the desire to see all members of society flourish.

Joe

28 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

I have to say the mini budget was used to prop up the party leadership and its friends, what does this do for the poorest in society? I know it increases the divide. Is there even a point in trying to make a living when people in their ivory towers are enjoying the fruits of their labour more now than the ever had before? How does this fix the economy? We are becoming a poor state and I feel things will only get worse with the cost of living etc. What's next for our country?

Ellie L

28 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

Absolutely loathe the mini budget - so out rightly cruel, so discriminatory. Westminster just shovelling eye-wateringly huge amounts of government money at the richest in society. In Scotland, many people feel independence is our only chance to break free of the right-wing political extremism of those who rule the UK - and, yes, I'm one of them.

Aurora U

28 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

The 'Big Question of the Week': what another shocker for the poorest people. It doesn’t apply to me at all. I don't have a credit card. Don’t have a mortgage and don’t pay tax. Lovely for the wealthiest to get wealthier while us poor are constantly battling in our heads how we’re going to live. No longer a choice of any luxuries just a choice of necessities and what ones you’re going to have. Electric you don’t have a choice you need it. Heat will only be used when I can no longer feel my face. Food will be eaten when I can no longer go without food. Sad times.

Rosie F

28 September 2022

Q. What do you think of the mini budget?

Whatever we do will never be enough for those sitting in their ivory towers.

Me and my both husband work full time and organise childcare between us and our older children so we don’t have to spend money on after school or breakfast clubs. Time spent together as a family is very limited as we are all working hard to pay the bills.

I work from home but it’s freezing today. I can’t afford to put the heating on so I’m wearing loads of layers and have a blanket on my lap while I’m at my desk. Going into the office isn’t an option because I need to be at home for when the kids get home from school. I’d love to know how it would be possible to work more hours than we do now.

Meanwhile the rich get tax cuts. They can send their kids to clubs and work with the heating on so they’ll be more productive so they can earn even more money.
It feels like we have returned to Victorian times - will the workhouse be next?!

Victoria S

28 September 2022

Utilities and renters.

I rent and pay utilities to my landlord on a monthly basis. I thought that means I'd not benefit from the £400 scheme but according to what I've read, me and my neighbours who rent from the same landlord, should receive the support through our landlord. What I read said you'd need to talk to your landlord about it, it's their responsibility to see that my share of the money comes to me. But my landlord scares me. I'm scared to piss them off and get kicked out. I don't feel safe or able to talk to my landlord about it, though I know I'll have to eventually. I wish there was an easier, safer way of getting access to this support without the middle man of a landlord who neighbours and I speculate will say "oh you've not received an refund for utilities because we've used the money toward not upping your utilities" (basically they'd get the money either way). How many people are at the mercy of their greedy landlords I wonder?

Bessie J

27 September 2022

Speaks volumes when the Minister for Children and Families is last to be appointed by the Conservatives.

I am not alone as a parent carer left without support due to budget cuts in social care.
It is a feeling of worthlessness, uncertainty and discrimination.

Bessie J

27 September 2022

Everyday is a learning curve.
Aberdeenshire Council had 1 qualified employee in welfare rights to work on appeals for DWP decisions. He has left his post as under pressure and overwhelmed with referrals for the whole county. He has no replacement.
Council put contract out to Citizens Advice who are not qualified social workers. They too were overwhelmed with referrals for benefit advice. Did not meet the conditions of the contract as volunteers unable to cope. Council withdrew funding and demanded what had been paid to Citizens Advice back.
Three local charities for the disabled, who receive Council tendered contracts, have been cut in the last week.

Bessie J

27 September 2022

Had a phone appointment this morning with a benefit advisor for a disability charity.
My 16 year old daughter has now caved into the pressure to leave school.
No qualifications due to lack of support staff to provide an alternative education to meet her needs. No transition as the council promotes. Only an email demanding return of the Chromebook lent out for lockdowns.
The council Employability department offered a '16 to 25 year' course for young adults, who have no place in education and no job.
My daughter with autism doesn't cope under pressure and the enthusiastic staff did put her under pressure to sign a contract. My daughter had a meltdown.
I let the enthusiastic staff leave our home for the 12th week in a row and spent rest to afternoon comforting my daughter.
I emailed to explain that talking fast and giving too many options to my daughter was overwhelming and asked could the support worker slow down and talk calmly. I also advocated for my daughter who did not like the term "travel training " used to help support autistic youngsters to use public transport on their own, as in her words "I am not a dog".
I wasn't expecting a reply of having the course withdrawn and advised to contact another charity, Barnardo's. I emailed them to a reply of attaining it was the job of the Employability team at council to make a referral. I emailed back the Employability team to query this and had no reply yet.
My daughter is not entitled to child benefit or child tax credits.
Our income has dropped again.
I cannot afford the private rent where we live.

Che R

27 September 2022

Bought a weeks worth of groceries last week; it's not really stretching at all, being home a lot, feeling hungry makes you tired. When daughter said she was hungry this evening just makes you feel helpless.

Victoria S

27 September 2022

Stressed, strained, fuming.

I read in several new outlets online yesterday that said that the second cost of living payment is due to arrive into accounts 1st October. I checked various sites, googled it, etc. It was all over my newsfeed. Great I thought, I can use the £30 emergency buffer I have in my account to get some much needed groceries as I'll be able to refill that little emergency pot (used for medical transport costs in case of emergency) end of the week or early next week.
This morning my newsfeed still said the same, then just saw now that some news agencies are saying it's not happening this week and that in fact no date has even been set.

I'm fuming. Either government is f**king with us in desperate times or new agencies are!

Bessie J

26 September 2022

The mini budget supported the wealthy and kept the low paid in their place.
The Queen's funeral is being funded by the tax payer. Whilst the NHS, social care and education are at breaking point.
I feel my anxiety worsen as feel bullied into being on the bottom of the scrap heap with no helping hand up.
I feel very alone in this affluent area, where many are still thriving with businesses and husbands in the offshore oil and gas sector. I often get that little girl ostracised in the playground feeling flooding back in my mind. Years of bullying in the late 1970's and 80's as I was the 'poor' kid with hand me down clothes from my brother. The Tories were running the UK and Margaret Thatcher was deemed evil by the Scottish as she rolled out the Poll Tax in Scotland and closed the coal pits. I remember the riots and revolution of the angry working class.
Where is the anger and revolution now?

Bessie J

26 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth passed away. She was 96 and led a adult active life.
The media turned the situation into a circus.
I live around 30 miles away from Balmoral and tributes and flowers were encouraged to be left at the gates by the local council
Books of condolences were opened.
From history, and news of Royals wrong doings, I am not a fan.
Instead of bouquets flowers left to rot on the ground, could locals not donate to a local food bank?
I expressed this via social media and quickly lost the respect of 12 "friends"
Now is not the time
It's not appropriate
Have you no respect?
I was accused of being a trouble maker
Has media melted the minds of intelligent people or is this the true colours of who is deemed important in life?
I did not go out onto the main dual carriageway as the hearse drove past in haste.
I cannot respect someone I did not know personally and neither she or her family knew me.
I respect the volunteers and low paid workers who didn't get the day off work that bank holiday. I respect those who do all they can to keep a roof over their families heads in a cost of living crisis.
The force-fed grieving via propaganda media worked on many.
I switched off. My small family are important to me. They are real, we love each other unconditionally.


Cindy B

26 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

Capping the bills does not go far enough. Bills were already unaffordable before the price cap announcement and I’m paying double what I was.

Lili K

26 September 2022

Today is Monday. Carers Allowance and Child Tax Credit has gone into our account and we have made a meal plan for the week and shopping list before going to Aldi.
Our daughter is vegetarian so we all eat a veggie dinner together every week night after school. This is working well as we all still get to eat together, my husband eats less meat, I have been trying new foods and our daughter gets a healthy balanced dinner. This is what would be shown on the cover. Behind the scenes would show us parents only eating this one meal each day, so that we can afford the ingredients and vary what we put on the menu and are able to try new recipes out. Last week, "fake chicken" for a recipe was TEN TIMES THE PRICE of frozen chicken breast meat. That seems typical of our society at the moment. By trying so hard to do the right thing, to support a young person who's morals prevent them from eating animals, by avoiding factory farming, by choosing the environmentally responsible option, we must pay ten times the price.

Lili K

26 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

I got involved as I have been journaling the ways I am helping our family survive anyway, hoping that some of the skills can be useful in future hard times. If this same information could be used to create a formal record and hopefully influence future decision makers then that would be something positive from a great deal of suffering, struggling and stress.
As for Liz Truss, sigh . What really annoys me is that the news promotes the energy cap as "saving each family x amount" when the reality is that we will be paying double! She isn't saving us anything! No, an energy cap which doubles the price of heating, cooking and lighting in our homes is no where near adequate when the energy companies squeezed £ billions profit, as local councils have to set up "warm spaces" for residents this winter.

Victoria S

26 September 2022

Hunger headaches suck. I'm used to sore stomach but the headaches suck, and the brain fog. Thinking is harder when you've skipped meals.
Thing is, I've done the research, I know the psychological and physical damage meal skipping can do, especially over a prolonged period of time, I make sure to have at least one carb heavy meal a day even if only a sandwich, more when I've the money. But I'm trying to prepare for Christmas, as best as I can (making most of our decorations this year, found some lovely little logs when walking the other day, brought them home to make a festive garden ornament, kids are excited to help make it).
Also I'm trying to prepare for the winter, I thought I'd have a bit more time, last year September was quite warm but this week has been freezing. I went to find hot water bottles for my kids the weekend, they were between £4-12 each! I remember getting them in Poundland when I was a young adult. Could only afford to get one this week, for my youngest who has the coldest bedroom in our house. I'll get one for my eldest later this week when I've been paid, I've given her extra blankets to be on the safe side (so glad I never toss a blanket lol).
I'm determined to make Christmas special for my kids, they deserve it, I need it too, to feel normal. They won't need to eat much on the day, the full roast can be a light festive buffet, they'll be full of chocolates from neighbours anyway lol. It's mostly outings I worry about, taking them to panto and Santa's grotto and festive events, they cost loads.
Took the kiddies to a local community country fair last weekend, I took £20 expecting a small community fair couldn't cost much. Boy was I wrong. Food alone, just one cheeseburger for each of us used up that money in a heartbeat. Kids still had fun, and I pulled my bankcard out to pay for one ride and one activity for each child (pony ride and a game where they got a toy after), and they tried their hand at free archery and an Anglo Saxon tribe demonstration was there too, set up like a small village. Little lady played a game of nine something Morris with one of the actors, while little man and I explored the tents and fire pit and furs. Cost twice as much as I expected but still great for the children. I'm of the opinion that it's far more important for children to have access to opportunities like this, community events and social interactions, for help them develop a open minded understanding of the world and more resilient mental health (🤞🏻), and as much as our town is pretty good at offering many free community events in the town centre (some great memories made through the summer and I know at Christmas they'll have much available also) I still need to factor in buses, picnics (I like to buy food at events where I can, cos then kids can try foods from different cultures but most times that's just too expensive). Never mind kids growth needs, need to get new wellies and trousers for them both too. The costs always build up. It's stressful, I know we'll manage, but still stressful

Erik W

25 September 2022

I am now starting to feel the cold again & struggling to keep us warm in our home. I have just searched my energy supplier for the application for the warm home discount that I have applied for over the last two years, this is now going to be decided by the government and paid automatically, rather than applying to the energy supplier. As usual it does not look like it will be paid to those like myself living on legacy benefits, as it is not means tested. I am so concerned about my energy usage now that I have nothing switched on except the essentials fridge, smoke/fire alarm, etc. I even have to walk around my own home carrying a torch as there is no way I can afford the cost of lighting. This is no way for myself, my daughter or anyone else to have to live in a modern world.

Erik W

22 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

I wanted to get involved in this new project as I feel that if we all work together to get a message to those who make decisions about our lives we will be able to make changes that will benefit all families that are struggling to survive on a low income, that is having a lasting affect on our day to day lives and the future lives of our children.

As far as the energy price cap goes I think that much more needs to be done to help people struggling to keep the lights on and their homes warm even more now that the winter is fast approaching. I have always been careful with my energy use, my annual bills have never reached the amount of the energy cap as I have never been in a situation to be able to afford the cost. So basically the new price cap will make no difference to what I can use in order to stay safe and healthy. Myself and my daughter now spend most of our time in the dark with no TV switched on and no heating to keep us warm, but still I struggle to pay the bills.

Autumn R

22 September 2022

Found out today that the government has pledged £2.3 billion to Ukraine and I feel so disappointed in myself that I’m angry about this. I’ve always been one for charity but, at this very moment, I’m trying to work out how I’m supposed to afford both a warm home for myself and my family and to put healthy, nutritious food on the table; in fact, I feel like I may need to opt for one or the other. I know I’m not the only one so it shocks me that, as a country we have this kind of money to pledge to other countries and yet we can’t afford to lower the prices of electricity and fuel or prevent food prices from rising as they are. Maybe I’m selfish? I feel selfish. I’ve seen the distraction of Ukraine in photos on the news and they do need our support BUT then again, what state will many of us be in if we are hit with a bad winter? Scotland is already cold and I’m already using long pjs and bed socks just to keep everyone warm overnight. My first post here is definitely a slight rant as my worry about the times ahead grows but this is truly what it’s like right now; I just don’t know how I’m going to manage through this winter if things don’t financially get better.

Autumn R

22 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

I took part in Covid Realities and found that it was both interesting to take part and also impactful to greater society. As such, as an individual that fits the type of participants you are looking for, I felt again I could make a difference and help your research by participating. It also gives me the feeling my voice is being heard by someone as often, it is us who are struggling through life that are often ignored.

Ana Q

21 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

I enjoyed the last 'Covid Realities' and want to continue participate in the new project 'Changing Realities' where I can learn more and share.

Nowadays I am too worried about energy cost rises and government initiative of price cap, this will help bring me a bit of relief.

Ed I

21 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

After successful completion of Covid Realites, I am very happy to join with Changing Realites. In Covid Realites, I learned how people survived during the pandemic as well as with rising living costs. During sessions, I heard others story's and shared my experience which helped me to relax and cool down as well as stayed away from stress for the time being. So, I wanted to continue with Changing Realities to get practical help and advice for energy cost rise and how to cope with this situation.

The PM announced the price cap for energy recently which is a good news for us but we need to remember that it is a unit price cap but not energy bill cap. So, as much as energy we use we have to pay the bill. Any balance after the price cap for our bill, government will pay but we have to pay government that back within few years time which still remains a burden for us.

Lexie H

21 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

I am involved with Changing Realities as I was involved in a previous research project “Covid Realities” and know that this project will assist in making wide reaching changes to not only how low income families are viewed but also helping make change to a system at fault

Meg S

21 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

My view of the capping of energy bills shows us quite clearly how little our politicians actually understand the impact high costs have on us. £2500 is nearly 1/5 of my income. Here in N Ireland we have just been told the cap is the same even though our wages are proportionately much lower than the rest of the UK, meaning we are still much worse off. Its not going to switch my heating on any more than i envisaged. We also got told of a £100 payment for those of us on oil heating, we cant even get a delivery to come out for that amount it wont get 100 litres and if your tank is empty, it would likely just take you to the minimum line. Oil has went up in the last 8 weeks from £163 for 200 litres to £213. 200 litres might just get you by for 6 weeks on rationing.
I am so sick and cross of the constant headliners yet none of them will bring any relief to the poorest but it's ok the bankers can get their big bonus now on top of their fat wages!

Gabbie S

18 September 2022

As the Queen's laying in state enters it's final 24 hours before her funeral tomorrow, I'm appalled that the rough sleepers & homeless have been moved along; out of site, out of mind whilst those queuing to pay their respects are offered food, drinks & blankets to ensure their comfort. Harks back to the rhetoric of those "deserving" versus "non-deserving".

Sal B

16 September 2022

The cost of living has been hard with school uniform prices and council tax rising. It's become very hard to buy essential items, and contacting the citizens advice was a long task. I rang every day all day. It cut me off every hour and became unavailable for 20 minutes after cutting me off. I finally got through. They are helping, but when that help is going to come I don't know. I know people are struggling with the cost of living because I'm lucky enough to be supported by and be there for support to my friends and family. We help each other ATM in any way we can but it's getting hard. Each day I find even more items that have gone up. My sister and my friend both work and they are both feeling the pinch now. It's just started to hit for me, before it wasn't overly a problem but these last 2 weeks have been very hard and I know they are getting worse. Food is becoming a luxury for us on benefits. I was already going without to feed my child as a single mother and now I'm going without even more. I am being tested to my limits from the school, and my neighbours who just moved in are driving us insane from their antisocial behaviour which no one helps with. The council tax is so unfair as the services we pay for we never receive, I cannot fault our fire service who I believe should be paid more than any of the other services I am about to list - the police do nothing, the council staff are rubbish, adult social care charges are unfair as they do not do their jobs, the doctors (if you're lucky enough to get an appointment) have no idea what they are talking about, the benefit system is so flawed that for 2 years I've waited for limited capability for work to be done and they have said I'm fit for work because they haven't done their job correctly; the government and Liz truss are useless and have done nothing for us who are struggling, I preferred Boris Johnson, I'm not his biggest fan but he tried his best and put a microscope under Liz truss you will find worse than him. I'm very upset about the queen passing -I was and still am a fan of the royal family and loved the queen so much it's made me so sad I haven't been able to say goodbye in person to her majesty but she had the best and most expensive candle I owned lit for her and I have been trying to get to her to say my thank yous for her passion and her advice which I will be lost without, she was there time and time again for me at such challenging times. My Christmas isn't going to be the same without her giving me her perfect inspired speech each year. It angers me that people against the monarchy have the audacity to hold up signs if they don't like them then don't go and I believe in free speech but there's a time and a place and the death of a beloved queen who served her life for peace and for her country and even up to her last breath she thought of us they had no right to be there and I think the police did well at crowd control, I would've been very upset if they didn't arrest the people trying to disturb the peace those disrespectful people needed a slap on the wrist because protesting should be done with respect and people are getting out of control holding up traffic and gluing themselves to very priceless painting, so I think the police did well. I'm ranting but I think these things are an issue in the current times and I wanted to get off my chest how it's making us feel and see if these things are something that everyone else is struggling with

Barbara W

16 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

In relation to Liz Truss's statement today, yes it's great that she's capped energy bills but it's not far enough, £2,500 is still a big increase for many families and like mine, they will have to decide whether to heat their home or eat!

Che R

16 September 2022

Wrote 2 funding bids to provide cookery classes in the community. I make about 2p from it, but it keeps me going, seeing smiles on faces and eating together. Will not give up.

Che R

16 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

Hi there, so glad to be back and so glad to be able to express thoughts this way. Since Covid I have started a CIC, a natural step for the cafe which we doubt we will ever operate again in the current climate. So it's cookery classes in the community, on a very tight budget, reliant on funding, with all the bills mounting up behind me. Daughter is home after awful time at university. Have lots of thoughts around poverty and living it, when will it end tends to be the reoccurring one.

Libby N

15 September 2022

In the past, having the children at home, meant saving money by not having to pay for transport those couple of days or spontaneous shopping trips because one happens to be outside. But how things have changed… I am not even switching on the TV at night, especially after having it on the whole day by my beloved son who can not live without his favourite cartoons (or a sound in the background). I really cannot blame him, as he must have got it from me, but trying to tell him about how the smart meter is really not going to stop taking more pennies, is pointless as he just does not get it.

I am being more precocious than I ought to be as I know winter is coming. How will our lives be like then?

Will I have to take my two children to the library after school and nursery so they can keep warm and use less energy at home?

And then we will return to the flat quickly, make them tea and put them to bed shortly after?

I swear the smart meter is eating me up more than the last 10 quid I added less than two days ago. The temperature has also dropped, we have all caught a viral cold and I refuse to let the smart meter win when it comes to heating the home, for now.


So brought out the big duvets, which probably will only be able to help us so far before the real autumn chill really hits.

Sal B

15 September 2022

Q. Why have you got involved?

I got involved with you this time because I was a member of Covid Realities, I felt very listened to and it helped so much. The team are very amazing people and I was very happy to be part of the research with them and I'm hoping I can be a part of this research as it was a great way to get out what it was doing to myself and others and finding out other people was experiencing the same issues.

Prince C

15 September 2022

We have had a few issues with our telephone provider and I am currently working with them to come to some sort of agreement. They set up my direct debit last year for £35, now they are saying I should have been paying £55 so they are trying to get the payments backdated from me. I can't afford that and surely that's an error on their part?

Faith N

14 September 2022

Today is now 2 weeks since my children have started back to school. Unfortunately their free school meals haven’t been sorted due to a huge computer glitch with the education board. With the cost of living crisis it’s been very difficult for me to pay to make lunches when the children are clearly willingly for free school meals. I just worry how much longer I can continue on with this.

Faith N

14 September 2022

Today is now 2 weeks since my children have started back to school. Unfortunately their free school meals haven’t been sorted due to a huge computer glitch with the education board. With the cost of living crisis it’s been very difficult for me to pay to make lunches when the children are clearly willingly for free school meals. I just worry how much longer I can continue on with this.

Changing Realities is a collaboration between parents and carers, researchers at the University of York, and Child Poverty Action Group.
Changing Realities is funded by abrdn Financial Fairness Trust.
Changing Realities' sister project is Covid Realities, which ran from 2020 to 2022, and was funded by the Nuffield Foundation
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