January 13, 2020
After 2 years of sleeping rough on the streets, Charles, known as Wolfie, managed to turn his life around and secure himself a flat with Sanctuary Housing. But adjusting to life after homelessness wasn’t easy. Wolfie struggled with the pressures and responsibilities which come from being a tenant. Thankfully, he found support in the form of the New Leaf team at Dial West Cheshire and his mentor, Helen.
Taking control of his life and moving into his own home was a huge step for Wolfie, but it was vital for him to develop the skills needed to maintain his tenancy and remain happy and healthy in his own home.
Being responsible for the costs associated with running a home was something Wolfie wasn’t used to and he quickly found himself behind on paying his rent, council tax and utility bills. Working closely with our money advice workers was a priority. Not only for Wolfie to learn how to budget effectively, but also for help reducing the debt he had managed to accumulate and applying for discounts he was eligible for.
“I am so grateful for the support at New Leaf. They have gone to appointments with me and negotiated on my behalf to reduce my bills.”
Now that his money troubles were starting to get under control, Wolfie was able to focus on finding a job.
One of the main barriers for Wolfie finding paid employment was not being able to use a computer or tablet. Increasingly, we are expected to access our bills, benefits and bargains online – which puts older people and those who are not confident with, or can’t afford, technology at a disadvantage.
Wolfie was soon put on a course where he would not only learn how to use a tablet but was also gifted one to help him keep on top of his repayments and allow him to apply for jobs. It wasn’t long before Wolfie was offered a job working as a cleaner.
At New Leaf, we recognise that it’s important to not only help people find work but support them to maintain their employment, which is why we offer our participants 12 weeks of in-work support. For Wolfie, this time was used to make sure he was OK financially. In a short space of time, Wolfie’s debts had been reduced by an incredible £1200, giving him a head start in his new life.
“I’ve got a job, I pay my bills and I’m not a digital dinosaur anymore!”
New Leaf is led by Torus Foundation and is part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund.