There are more people living in single-person households in the UK than ever before and without someone to share the bills with it can be quite a struggle to keep up with your expenses. Add to that the recent rise in the cost of living and it can be very difficult not to slip into debt.
58-year-old Barbara lives near Edinburgh and had worked for various business supplies companies over a 15-year period. When her outgoings became more than her income, she started to get into debt and began to get more and more worried, often going to bed at night with a feeling of impending doom. Barbara had an inefficient heating system which added to her burden, and she couldn’t afford broadband which made managing her debts even more difficult.
Barbara explains: “I was really struggling to sleep, and if it wasn’t difficult enough paying the bills, I had debts to pay, and I worried about unexpected bills coming in. Then my cat, Chancer, became ill and I ended up with a £1,000 vet bill to pay. It was such a worry.”
One day she received a letter from her former employer which mentioned the BOSS Business Supplies Charity. She took the brave step to get in touch and ask if there was any possibility of some help.
A meeting was arranged with Graeme Chapman, MBE, who was then the Chair of the BOSS Charity. He remembers very clearly the first time they met: “Barbara was very anxious and concerned that she couldn’t ask for help for what she considered a luxury – a pet. But when I saw how important Chancer was in Barbara’s life – and knowing the hugely positive impact a pet can have on one’s mental wellbeing – I had no hesitation in taking her request back to the Trustees to see if there was anything we could do to alleviate some of her financial worries.”
Having discussed her financial situation with her, the Charity made two payments of £500 to help Barbara get on top of her bills and give her some room to think. She was then awarded a quarterly grant, which helps her keep her head above water during the cost-of-living crisis.
Barbara said: “Graeme was a knight in shining armour. I’m overwhelmed by the support the BOSS Charity has given me and I don’t know what I would have done without them. It’s the unexpected bills that really worry me, like needing new tyres. It can really throw you out when you’re on top of your finances. With the Charity’s help, I’ve now got the headspace to deal with life. I’m so grateful.”
If you know anyone like Barbara, please let them know about the BOSS Charity to see if we can help.