Wheatley showed me they care

A tenant, 56, from the south side of Glasgow, talks about the support he got from Eat Well, a Wheatley Group service which helps people in food poverty.

Wheatley Group's Eat Well scheme helps people in food poverty

My brother died last year and I had to go to his funeral in England. The cost of that meant I fell behind with my rent.

Soon after that I had a heart attack and it meant I wasn’t fit to work. I’d been a bus driver.

Financially and physically I was at a low ebb. I was on Universal Credit and had to survive on £250 a month.

My housing officer knew I was struggling for cash because I wasn’t working.

Eat Well was one of the ways she helped me.

It was difficult to accept the help at first. I’d always worked, was always used to buying my own food and looking after myself.

As much as I needed the food, I still felt guilty.

I got over the embarrassment, though.

I’d been to food banks before. It’s a fact of life for many people these days. There have been times when I’ve been sitting there with very little, having  to stretch out what little food I had.

The food is delivered every week, things like milk, fish, sausages, cheese, yoghurt and bread.

It definitely makes a difference. It’s a worry off my mind. I still have to buy food, but this is an emergency supply, so at least I know I have something there.

It takes away the worry about tomorrow – though I have to worry about my bills.

It’s a great thing, a cracking idea, and it’s helping the people who really need it.

It’s a shame that because  of circumstances we have to rely on it.

It’s not something I’d ever experienced until recently.

There are no luxuries in this life, that’s for sure.

It’s really vital if you’re hard up – and lots of people are hard up.

Hopefully I can get back to work soon but I’m grateful for the support I’ve received.

Nobody seems to care about people who can’t work.

At least Wheatley have showed they care about me.

How lifeline service is tackling food poverty

Eat Well launched in April 2014, with tenants facing severe financial pressure because of welfare reform

Tenants are referred to Eat Well by their housing officer for up to eight weeks

Each week, a bag of fresh and long-life food is delivered free to the tenant’s home

The delivery is not a weekly shop, but includes basic items such as pasta, soup and fruit and veg

Around 2000 tenants have been helped since 2014

The food comes from FareShare, a charity that redistributes food which would otherwise go to waste

Wheatley works with charity Move On, giving vulnerable young people paid work in making up and delivering the food packages

Eat Well is one of several services – such as My Money, Tenancy Support Service, welfare benefits and fuel advice – to help tenants struggling financially.

Thursday, March 15, 2018