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Gary's Story

Gary 48 and a single parent approached the bureau for assistance having recently become unemployed. Unused to the welfare system, Gary was feeling very anxious and stressed about his current financial situation and managing future household bills and felt very vulnerable. Gary’s family situation changed several months ago when he gained full time custody of his son.

Gary asked for help with looking at benefit entitlement and assistance with budgeting and managing household bills to help until he could get back into work. Due to having full time childcare responsibilities Gary wanted to explore different avenues of work, more suited to fit around his son’s needs. Gary also asked for help to improve his chances of securing a more permanent home. 

How did Breakthrough help?

With the help from a dedicated Breakthrough Money Mentor Gary was supported with making an online claim for Universal Credit including the housing element. Gary was also advised how much benefit he would be entitled depending on any earning, as Gary was hoping to find Part-time work.

Gary’s Money Mentor looked at all of his household finances, including any possible debts to see what action could be taken to help following loss of earnings. Together they also looked at essential expenditure, and drafted a financial statement to see what savings could be made to increase available income. This included making savings on some household bills, including reducing the water bill by 90%, by making an application to the Big Difference Scheme.

Gary was helped to put together an up-to-date CV and explore various jobs by accessing online jobsites, various training courses, particularly IT courses and looked at free classes in the local area to improve employability.

Gary’s Money Mentor explored different options regarding his current housing situation. And was supported with registering online with the local authority for housing and contacting various Housing Associations. 

How has Gary’s life changed since being on the Breakthrough Programme?

Through receiving support from Breakthrough Gary’s knowledge and confidence increased around the benefits system and he felt able to manage his own online Universal Credit account. 

With the support given Gary’s household income increased in terms of benefits claimed, savings made on household bills and increased available income. Gary’s housing situation is looking more positive as he had been given more options to explore regarding long term housing, which will give him the long term security he needs. 

With support of the Breakthrough Programme Gary eventually found work as a Teaching Assistant and enjoys it immensely. Gary feels happy with his current situation and is hopeful for the future. He feels settled having secured employment and is now ready to look at finding a new home.

*All names have been changed to protect identity & confidentiality

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Gary says:

The project has helped me move on, by offering advice, guidance and support, and encouraged me to look at other options I had not considered previously. Been a great support.