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Posted on July 8, 2024

How we support our customers: Susan’s story

After being forced to move house due to ongoing issues with her old home, Susan found herself in need of Calico’s support.

Joanne Hoyle, one of our Tenancy Sustainment Officers, first met mum-of-two Susan at a drop-in event about council tax.

Since their first meeting, Joanne has gone on to help Susan feel settled in her new home, become less social isolated and access essential furniture.

Talking about the help she’s received from Joanne and Calico, Susan said: “I’ve been given great support. They’ll always help you if you need it”.

Susan’s story

Last year, Susan found herself seeking somewhere new to live, after their home in Oswaldtwistle became unlivable due to leaks, damp and mould.

As a mum of two daughters, Susan was motivated to find somewhere new to live quickly, after her kids were forced to live with a grandparent to avoid the health issues associated with living in a damp home.

Thankfully, Calico soon offered Susan a house. In February this year, she and her girls moved to the Stoops neighbourhood in Burnley.

“The house has brought the family back together”, Susan said.

Granting access to home essentials

The ongoing problems with black mould in her previous home destroyed many of the family’s belongings – including furniture, clothing and homeware.

As part of her ongoing support, Joanne was able to assist Susan in accessing essential furniture and appliances needed to set up her new home.

Most recently, Joanne is helping the family apply for funding to buy a room divide for the daughters’ bedroom. The divide will give the sisters much-needed privacy, as they continue to share their sleeping space.

Maximising benefits to make money go further

Not only has Joanne helped with applying for grants, but she also helped Susan review her finances and check her benefit entitlement.

Much to Susan’s surprise, she was entitled to more monthly benefits than she had been previously aware of. This extra monthly income ensures the family can afford more essentials, such as food and clothing.

The mum-of-two continued: “It makes things a little easier for us – we don’t have as much to worry about. It gives us money to buy things like new bedding”.

How we’ve helped Susan feel settled

After relocating to her Calico home in Burnley, Susan began to feel isolated from her extended family. However, the community in the Stoops neighbourhood soon showed the family a warm welcome.

Susan told us: “All the neighbours help each other out; everyone gets on. There’s no drama or trouble, and everyone even helps with each other’s gardens”.

Along with her oldest daughter Chloe, Susan will be heading to the Valley Street Community Centre with Joanne to check out the community classes on offer. From dance to martial arts, the duo is looking forward to meeting more people in the Burnley area.

Tenancy Sustainment Officer, Joanne, added: “We do a lot that other housing associations don’t. Because we’re small, we get to focus on individuals more”.

Looking to the future

Joanne has continued to support Susan, providing much needed advice and a friendly face whenever she needs it. Although the long-term goal is to move closer to extended family, Susan is making the most of her time in Burnley.

The family are also planning their first holidays in years, heading to Skegness next year to enjoy some much-needed time together.

Susan’s oldest daughter, 15-year-old Chloe, added: “I’d choose Calico when I’m older; it’s the best”.

If you need support with income management, please email us on or visit our handy benefits checker for more information.

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