Ms. Jones's story Ms. Jones has worked in the same job as a carer within a care home since 1997 and loves her job. She had been with her long-term partner a number of years happily and they had two daughters together. They worked hard and had a decent income, bought a house and had a good life together. A couple of years ago the family’s lives were changed forever when they were involved in a serious car accident in which one of their daughters tragically died. Unable to cope, Ms. Jones’s relationship with her long-term partner broke down and he moved out of the family home. Baby George was born in December 2015 after Mr. Jones had left and Ms. Jones went through most of the pregnancy and the birth alone, worried sick about how she was going to cope. Since the birth of her baby, Ms. Jones has reduced her hours at work and struggles on her income. She manages to cover essentials but has nothing left over for unexpected events such as home repairs, outings or extras for the children. The last straw came when whilst she was pregnant a leak in her kitchen roof got worse and water was dripping down the walls and into the electrics. She was assigned a housing support worker who put her in touch with The Care Worker’s Charity (CWC). The CWC were able to assist by paying for the repairs to the roof and giving her a small amount of money monthly over six months to enable her to take her children on outings and give them experiences they would not otherwise have had. How did you get involved with The Care Worker’s Charity? “My Housing Support Worker from Shelter Cymru found out about the charity for me and helped me with the application.” What were your first impressions and how did you feel when you first came to the CWC? “I felt anxious and my pride made me question whether I should apply, but my Housing Support Worker encouraged me to. Because I was working and had a mortgage, I didn’t have many options open to me and was thinking of my children.” Has your life improved and do you feel you have got to a better place by receiving support? “Our lives have definitely improved. I no longer have to worry about the rain leaking or the electrics or how I am going to solve the problem. It’s such a big relief. The first payment of the monthly allowance is due any day and we have been making plans together about how to spend it. With the first payment we would like to visit the zoo together. My nine-year-old daughter has also asked if we could have a takeaway meal as she has never had one. With future payments she is also looking forward to going swimming with her friends and going to McDonald’s for a burger afterwards. Previously she has been unable to join them.” Where would you be if you hadn’t received support? “I have absolutely no idea! I could never have afforded it myself and was considering abandoning our home (with all our memories) and going on the list for a Council house as I simply had no idea what to do.” Where do you see yourself in the future? “I have worked in the same care home for almost 20 years and I love my job. As my youngest gets older, I hope to increase my hours again to improve our standard of living and quality of life. I will also be improving my qualifications and working towards QCF 5.” What advice would you give someone who was looking for similar support? “If one of my colleagues was in a similar situation, I would definitely recommend that they approach The Care Worker’s charity.” Is there anything else you would like to say? “We don’t know what life holds in store for us. If you’d told me a few years ago when everything was going well that I would be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed it. But it can happen to anyone – none of us know what’s round the corner. My family can’t thank you enough for your help and support. It is so good to know that there are people out there willing to help and support others in this way.” Ms. Jones’ tragedy is a reminder that your entire life can be changed in just a few seconds. After 20 years caring for others, it is only right that we at the CWC do what we can to help care for her and her family… We can’t wait to hear how the trip to the zoo went, and many other fun experiences Ms. Jones’s and the children get up to. We truly wish them all the best and will keep in touch over the coming months and years.