A family home for Christmas

Posted on 19 December 2022

Our teams worked together and changed a customer’s life

When Anna* was referred to Joseph Clark, an Adviser in Hyde Foundation in September 2020 during lockdown, she was in a difficult situation. Anna was in a lot of debt and was very behind on her rent.

Supporting victims of domestic abuse

Anna had been a victim of domestic abuse on two occasions, and we’d moved her and her two young sons to a Hyde home in South London. Joseph took on Anna’s case and ensured that she was receiving all the benefits that she was entitled to. Her Universal Credit had stopped due to problems with her immigration status (she's lived in the UK since she was two years old), resulting in her housing costs not being paid. Joseph worked with social services and as one of her sons is disabled, Universal Credit was re-instated.

Joseph also asked her local council to help with her rent arrears, but unfortunately Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) was declined. Hyde Foundation stepped in and provided continual financial assistance including gift vouchers to help with food and also fuel top ups with the Fuel Bank Foundation.

In 2022, further domestic abuse meant that Anna had to move out of her home in South London. Despite her ex-partner being in prison, Anna was now being abused by people known to him. So, we moved her to a domestic abuse temporary ‘safe home’.

Anna’s immigration status continued to place the family’s status in the UK at risk. Teams across Hyde, including Tenancy and Empty Homes and Lettings, all worked together to help during this time of crisis and rehoused her in another Hyde home.

Hyde’s Head of Housing, Audrey Williamson, played a key part in this decision and asked for our ‘urgent moves procedure’ to be changed for victims of domestic abuse.

A new start

Anna finally moved to a new home on the coast in September 2022. However, despite being pregnant with her third child, she arrived with absolutely nothing. She didn’t even have the train fare to get to her new home. Joseph immediately set to work and applied for money from our Domestic Abuse Fund and additional funding internally for furniture and white goods. We also gave her food vouchers, to ensure that there was food for her children.

The team is also applying to the embassy to help with the rent arrears on Anna’s previous home and she is working with an immigration lawyer to resolve the immigration situation.

In November, Anna was rushed to hospital to have her baby, but the baby was unwell when born and not breathing. Joseph was informed and the first thing he did was let our Income Team know that Anna was in hospital, so they were aware that she might fall behind on her rent.

Thankfully Anna’s baby is now doing well, and she is enjoying her new home with her family. She’s so grateful for Joseph’s ongoing help and support: “I just wanted to say thank you for all your help and kind words and the support you have given to us. I don’t know where we would be without you.”

Audrey Williamson said: “I’m delighted that Anna is safe, her baby is doing well and they’re all together in their new home for Christmas. Our Income, Hyde Foundation, Tenancy, Legal and Empty Homes and Lettings teams all worked together to find a way to help, and didn’t allow processes to get in the way of helping a vulnerable customer.”

See our information and resources on domestic abuse visit our website.

*Not our customer's real name.  Stock image used.