Anna needs a lot of help with making ends meet and getting all the benefits she is entitled to.  

Epping Forest Foodbank has been able to support her and sign post her to other organisations like Citizen's Advice for further support. 

During the Covid lockdown Anna was working as a carer, this required going into people’s houses including some who were sick.  

She then got seriously ill with Covid herself and was off sick for some time.

In 2021 her partner had a massive stroke and heart failure. He now has a defibrillator and cannot work due to the physical nature of his job.

They have two teenage children, but because older children have moved out she is being charged the spare room tax even though they really need the space for medical equipment. 

She has recently been made redundant from another job so there has been an accumulation of bills and things including council tax debt.  Anna tried to speak to the council but tax debt mounted up and she has now received a court summons.

She is always looking for work but feels that her age is against her in the job market. Even if she did get a job, who would look after her husband? 

The foodbank is a godsend to Anna and children not just for the food but for the other help and information that she has needed such as from CAB and benefits advice. Despite his serious illness her husband is not in receipt of PIP so she has not been able to get the support by claiming that.  

Volunteers are helping her with applying for Carer’s support, but every application has a lot of forms and is very intrusive. Anna believes that people who need the help may just be giving up. 

On an emotional level Anna feels like she has failed. She is sorry that she cannot provide her teen children with activities that other kids their age enjoy, like trips to the seaside or to a show but for now, just getting the food on the table is enough. 

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.

  • If you would like to help with our work through donating your time, money or food items, visit our website:

Jane Evans is a trustee of Epping Forest Foodbank.