"I think I would have struggled more if I didn't have somewhere like this the Centre. I would have felt more lonely. The Centre made life a lot easier."
One week after the start of lockdown my income support stopped suddenly. I was frightened my children and I would be evicted, that we would be out on the streets. I didn't know what to do. But then I called the Cardinal Hume Centre, and I spoke to Fella, who said, Don't worry: we will help. 'I first came to the Centre three years ago, with my children for the homework and after-school clubs. I didn't feel my English was good enough to help my daughter. But the Centre had helped her perform better in school and made me more confident when helping with her homework. Family services staff then introduced me to the immigration team, and they had helped me get settled status here in the UK, so that my children and I could stay and get support until I find a job. Lockdown made me feel alone and isolated again.
My health got worse. My diabetes was up and down because of the stress. I could not afford to buy food or pay our rent. It was such a relief when Fella said the Centre could help, the assessment team gave us food vouchers. I was able to arrange deliveries from a local foodbank; the welfare team helped me to apply for Universal Credit and got it backdated. I could feed my children and pay our rent, we were able to stay in our home! The Centre is unique, it's one place where you can get help with everything. It makes me feel supported and that it is here to help me. It has made me and my children so happy. It takes away a lot of worries and the fear of eviction, not being able to pay rent and bills. Soon, I will start working with the employment team to find a job. I would love to work in administration again. I have been in London for 19 years, and no one has helped me as much as the Cardinal Hume Centre. I don't feel alone any more.