Case Studies

Community Advice Service: Support with Debt and Social Isolation

Robert was initially referred to Peasholme Charity by York Foodbank because he needed food, was in debt and was socially isolated, spending a lot of time alone.

As well as providing emergency food, the Foodbank volunteers offer a weekly cuppa and catch up, which is where they identified that he would benefit from our support.

He told us that he used to have a steady, well-paid job, a nice house, a car but he had lost everything after a marital breakdown followed by ill-health. He had found it difficult to come to terms with his change in circumstances and had avoided telling family and friends the extent of his situation.

We visited Robert at his flat, where he talked about his worries. He had anxiety over debt which we helped him work through, liaising with his estate manager to negotiate a manageable payment plan for his rent arrears. This relieved some of his stress about getting into further debt and being evicted.

“Sarah has been a massive help. I was in a black hole and didn’t really care much about myself and my environment – but with Sarah’s help in getting my flat furnished, it started to feel more like home.”

Roberts’ daughter gave him a TV, TV unit, coffee table and pair of side tables which we arranged to be collected and delivered. In partnership with the Foodbank, we were able to source a sofa and a bookshelf for his otherwise empty flat.

We also applied to Acts 435 for a bed that Robert chose himself from the York Community Furniture Store – a local charity selling preloved furniture that is affordable to all, reducing waste and tackling financial exclusion.

His place began to look and feel like a home.

We arranged for a Benefits and Contributions Advisor from the City of York Council to make an application for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on his behalf and they visited him at his flat to support him through the process.

We put Robert in touch with local social groups to improve his network and he now regularly attends coffee mornings.

“I have struggled with my mental health for a long time, shutting myself away, not wanting to be a burden to anyone, and burying my head in the sand when problems came along. I particularly struggled with bureaucracy but working with Sarah built up my confidence and helped me work through my difficulties.

I am much more positive about what the future holds for me.” said Robert.

Peasholme Charity support anyone over the age of 18 in York that are experiencing homelessness, poverty, social and financial exclusion.

If you need our support please email [email protected].