Karen is the main carer for her son who has undiagnosed Asperger’s. Karen is unable to work due to her son’s condition and needs. She has no recourse to public funds, no money coming into the household and therefore struggles with daily financial needs such as rent, childcare, food and bills.

Karen contacted HertsHelp for advice and support around benefits, children’s services, and a supporting letter to the home office. Upon contact, HertsHelp immediately supported Karen by arranging a meals on wheels service delivery for that weekend. The HertsHelp adviser then arranged for a Community Navigator to contact Karen.

The Community Navigator met with Karen, listened and outlined where solutions could be offered. The Community Navigator arranged for Karen to receive food from a local foodbank and made her aware of local food banks which can support her with food parcels when necessary.

Karen was then assisted with looking at various grant organisations to support her financially and a grant of £2,500 was provided by The Talisman Trust.

The Community Navigator also persuaded Karen to engage with Social Services to try and receive support around her housing and her child’s nursery costs. Children’s services suggested that Karen should look for paid employment and her ex-partner should assist financially. They also said that they could not help with her housing until she was to be made homeless.

The Navigator supported Karen to attend a job centre, however, again due to her no recourse to public funds status, they couldn’t help.
The Navigator advised and assisted Karen to fill in a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) application for her son which she is now waiting to hear back from. It is hoped that her son receives DLA and this will be some income that can support them both financially.

Karen hopes that her “No recourse to public funds” status can be reversed as she has worked and studied in the UK for over twenty years and her son has a British passport. She also hopes she will be given leave to remain. The Navigator assisted Karen with contacting the child’s SEN Officer and GP to ask for supporting letters to send to the Home Office regarding her “No recourse to public funds” status.