Meet ‘Jane’…

Jane first met our advice team in May 2022, having been referred by our English teacher and by a Family Wellbeing Centre. She had been sofa-surfing with her son for several months, and was barely managing financially, despite working two cleaning jobs. She was unaware that she had any entitlement to support.  

We helped Jane to make an application for Universal Credit, secure Child Benefit and challenge a tax penalty. 

Jane and her son then became street homeless and panicked. We advised her of her rights, and, with our support, she spent two days waiting and explaining her case to Brent housing officials. Her claim was initially refused but together we provided evidence and secured her entitlement.  

During this time, Jane’s ex-husband made threats to kill her and her son; criminal proceedings in relation to attempts to traffic her into sex work are ongoing. Inevitably, Jane’s health has suffered because of the stress but she tells us that it is improving – she and her son are living in new accommodation away from her ex-husband and near her son’s school. We have been able to provide them with a laptop and furniture donations, as well as food bank referrals. Both feel more settled and one day Jane wants to find work empowering other women, perhaps running a refuge.