We knew from the moment COVID-19 hit the news headlines that families of all kinds across the country would be put under unprecedented amounts of stress. That’s why we launched our emergency grants fund to support those who needed help with the essentials during this difficult time. Here, proud father Mohbub tells us what receiving the grant has meant to him.
I’m writing this as my 11-month old daughter sleeps in the next room. I have to leave the room quietly as she’s always looking out for me and is aware of when I leave, right from when she first wakes in the morning. It’s was difficult during the early days of isolation as the weather’s been good and it’s been disappointing not being able to take her out for a walk. She’s so inquisitive and loves to go outside – which is how we first got in touch with Family Action. We’d started attending the local children’s centre during the day to get her out the house and the support worker there had been giving my wife and me advice regarding what to do as new parents.
After the COVID-19 outbreak, it was the support worker who suggested we apply for the grant, as money was tight for us. I’d had to leave work around ten years ago to look after my mother and sister – who had Down’s Syndrome and couldn’t communicate verbally. My brother had been looking after them, but he’d passed away from a blood clot on the lungs. My sister then passed away from the same condition around five years later and I was left looking after my mother, who has diabetes and arthritis.
“Family Action’s support worker really helped ease that anxiety and sat down with me to complete all the necessary forms for the grant.”
This was difficult and became even more difficult when I married my wife and she moved in with us, with everyone in the same house. Thankfully, another brother was able to move back in and care for my mother last year around the time my child was born, and we were able to move into temporary accommodation, but finding work again has been very difficult.
I didn’t really see many other people during that period of staying at home and looking after my sister and mother, and I felt a bit isolated. My confidence had gone and I didn’t feel great about my skills and talking to people. Family Action’s support worker really helped ease that anxiety and sat down with me to complete all the necessary forms for the grant.
My wife is from a non-EU country so we’ve had to manage on a single person’s universal credit allowance up to this point. The grant has helped us buy the things we couldn’t afford – such as a cot, wardrobe and a chest of drawers for the baby’s clothes. We still don’t have one for our clothes but it was difficult to manage without one for her specifically.
They’ve also helped us apply for other grants from other charities – such as one for a washing machine for the house, which should make washing her clothes much easier – which is good as I’m now looking into training to get back into work. Family Action’s support has been invaluable – they’ve been really useful, offering us support and advice. It’s been a great help.
For more information about the valuable work Family Action does distributing grants across the UK visit our grants pages here.