Lucy (not her real name) and her three-year old daughter come to the foodbank about twice a month.

Homelessness and abuse led her here.

Although she has good academic qualifications, Lucy's former husband would not allow her to work so she has no funds of her own.

Since November, when they had to flee her husband’s physical abuse, mother and daughter have had four moves into temporary accommodation.

When Lucy tells her story she is on top of all the dates, as she explains, each move for her and her daughter takes place in a rush, as notice periods expire and some rentals require a deposit.

By now they have a few clothes and no spare money. Other belongings have to be left behind each time they move.

Lucy's relationship with her husband was marked by controlling behaviour and uncertainty.

Occasionally, she received unpredictable amounts of money from him, while he changes frequently from saying he will find housing to telling her to find it herself.

In December she went onto Universal Credit, but it’s not enough and she's not entitled to housing benefit and now she has received a large bill for arrears of council tax.

The letters from the council tell her the debt is urgent but she has no money to pay it.

Lucy is losing sleep thinking about it. She would like to appeal but had no idea how to go about it.

Epping Forest Foodbank has helped her with food, toiletries and practical advice.

It's clear that Lucy has had to swallow her pride, but she is so grateful for the help and is reassured by knowing she can come-by any time she needs to.

It helps so much with the cost of things for at least three to five days. Her daughter loves cereal and always gets enough from the foodbank.

At Epping Forest Foodbank, we are seeing more and more people come through our doors.

  • If you need assistance, call Help Through Hardship on 0808 208 2138.
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