Sam is in his sixties and has mobility issues following a stroke. He was referred to POhWER during the Covid-19 lockdown. Sam’s right to stay in the UK was being investigated by the Home Office so his benefits had been stopped. He was unable to pay his rent and would have been at risk of losing his home if there had not been a temporary block on evictions.

When our advocate Anita contacted Sam he told her he was feeling stressed. He has no family or close friends in the UK to support him and had become isolated during lockdown. Because he had no income he was relying on a weekly food parcel and was worried about what would happen if it did not arrive. He was also concerned about what would happen when the block on evictions was lifted.

Because she could not visit him, Anita and Sam agreed that she would contact him by phone every week to check he was OK and that his food parcel had arrived. She also supported him with the Home Office investigation checking that there were no unnecessary delays and reassuring Sam that the correct procedures were being followed.

When Sam was granted ‘leave to remain’ for another 30 months Anita referred him to a welfare rights advisor for help with reapplying for his benefits. He hopes he will be able to pay off his rent arrears and stay in his home. Anita also contacted the council to get Sam an assessment of his care needs.

Sam said

“My Advocate has helped me a lot through the Covid lockdown.

I have been isolated with no finances as my benefits had been stopped.

I would have had no access to any food without my food parcels thanks to my advocate. She also alerted social services that I needed more help and without her I would have been extremely isolated. Thank you”