21st century poverty: “I have £3.87 to my name”

“I just feel my son deserves so much better than a mum who can’t even provide”

Amy-Leigh is a mum from Oldbury. Like 14 million others in the UK, she lives in poverty.

In a heart-breaking thread on netmums, Amy-Leigh shared her experience of what it’s like to live in poverty in 21st century Britain.

Amy-Leigh said: “I’m so broke I don’t know what to do. I have £3.87 to my name till Friday next week.

Poverty in the UK

“We have no food in the house, and I need to top up the electric. I’m struggling to feed me and my son.

“I’ve googled food parcels and the nearest one is about seven miles away, and it would cost me £3.60 in bus fare.

“We’ve taken our TV to cash converters and got a tiny bit of money, which went on bills. I can’t ask my parents.

“It’s my niece’s birthday and I can’t afford a card. This is making me feel so ill.

“I feel like a complete failure as it’s my job to take care of my son and I can’t even do that.

“I just feel my son deserves so much better than a mum who can’t even provide. I’m a complete failure.

Amy-Leigh has since found help, got a crisis loan, and contacted a food bank.

However, many haven’t accessed the help available, don’t know it’s there, or are simply too proud to claim.

Use Turn2us resources to find help

If you have to choose between food and bills, use our Benefits Calculator to find out what you are entitled to.

If you have to choose between feeding yourself and feeding your kids, use our Grant Search to check if you are eligible for a grant.

Source: NetMums website Coffee House thread: I’m so broke I don’t know what to do

Dying from Inequality

Report (2017) by the Samaritans on Socioeconomic disadvantage and suicidal behaviour

Living in poverty shouldn’t mean losing your life. Going through difficult
times, like losing your job or being in debt, shouldn’t mean not wanting
to live. But that is what’s happening in the UK and Ireland today. Suicide
is killing the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people, devastating
families and communities. This report by Samaritans, in collaboration
with leading academics, reveals why.

Since the economic recession in 2008, the UK and Ireland have
experienced economic change which has been felt across our
communities. The effect on people has been wide-ranging and
long-lasting, often well beyond the economic recovery period.
Samaritans commissioned this report to ensure a better understanding
about the association between socioeconomic disadvantage and
suicidal behaviour and what can be done.

Our vision is that fewer people die by suicide. With our free,
confidential helpline open all day, every day for anyone struggling to
cope, and our work in a whole range of different settings, including
prisons, schools, hospitals and job centres, we work hard to reach
everybody who needs us. But this isn’t enough. We won’t reduce
suicide by the provision of our services alone. We need governments
and other agencies to take action to tackle the injustice of suicide.

SamaritansEffective collaboration across central and local government and all
the local agencies which play a role will be crucial. This must include
welfare, education, housing, employment, health and finance.
Improving the lives of people from lower income groups will save
lives and untold costs for families, communities, workplaces and
the economy.

Suicide is preventable. It will take all our efforts, wherever we are, to
make sure that we reach those who are struggling to cope and most in
need of our support. While looking at the research in this area, we must
remember that, behind the figures, there are individuals who have left
behind a family and community affected by their loss. By taking action
together, we can stop people dying.

Read full report at: https://tinyurl.com/zhymgar