Neighbourly support, building a community

Here’s a great story about partnership working between YHA and City of York Council for one of our York customers….

Near the beginning of lockdown, a customer told Paul Grainger, his Housing Officer, that he was being furloughed and would get 80% wages. It subsequently transpired he did not qualify for the scheme through his employer due to the time he had been in employment, and, unfortunately, was laid off.

This had an impact on his mental wellbeing, and he didn’t know where to turn as he had no family or friends to support him. Paul kept in contact. The customer advised Paul he’d been unable to contact the support and advice services Paul had signposted him to as he had no internet access and could not make outgoing calls on his phone. He was not in a good place.

Paul contacted City of York Council’s COVID19 Help Group and explained the customer’s situation to them. Paul also emailed the Income Services Team and Benefits Team, also at the Council. After some conversations with various teams to find out if support could be provided for the customer, it was agreed someone from the Council would phone him to see what they could put in place.

The Council rang the next morning to advise Paul they had been able to get one of the Universal Credit Case Managers to call the customer direct. His claim for Universal Credit was processed over the phone, and he received the money that day.

The Customer’s Council Tax support claim was completed online, and additional support was provided by the York Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS), again, through city of York Council.

In the space of less than 24 hours, our customer went from feeling very low and depressed with nowhere to turn, to having a more positive outlook.

So, because Paul knew who to contact, he was able to help one of our customers when he really needed our support.Well done, Paul.


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