Martin contacted HertsHelp, explaining the he was a train driver when someone committed suicide in front of him. He didn't realise until a recent diagnosis that he was suffering with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This caused a falling out with his family as he didn't understand the symptoms which manifested themselves in aggression. He had no one to turn to, couldn’t go back to work and still suffers flashbacks of the incident.

Martin has debts through rent arrears & was sanctioned on Universal Credit as his broadband was cut off and he was unable to update his claim. Martin discussed his rent and other arrears with the HertsHelp adviser and was advised that he could request rent payments to be paid directly to the landlord. Martin explained that he had done this, but to date this has not been actioned. A judge has granted a stay of execution on his eviction but the debt remains. He has had previous CAB support but found it difficult to engage with them.

The HertsHelp adviser arranged for a gas and electric voucher to be sent to him, as the meter was about to run out. Martin advised that he had a small amount of food and declined the offer of an emergency food parcel at this time. He has accessed the local food bank and said he did not want to take more than he needed. The HertsHelp adviser confirmed to Martin that he would contact HertsHelp back if he needed help with food at a later date.

The HertsHelp adviser asked Martin what his plans were for Christmas & he said he would spend Christmas Day alone with his cats as he had no family to spend it with. His next benefit payment wouldn’t be until January.

Martin also agreed to a referral to the Hospital and Community Navigation Service (HCNS) in order to help deal with his paperwork and debt and also to provide a safety net to help manage his condition. With some collaborative working between the HertsHelp adviser and HCNS local navigator, a support group was identified who the HertsHelp adviser contacted and was informed about a Christmas meal being arranged. Martin said he was “absolutely taken back” that he would have somewhere to go & see other people over the Christmas period and felt as if he could now see the light at what had felt like a very long and dark tunnel.