We thought you might be interested in some analysis of the cases we’ve handled from December 2012-December 2015.

Who we help

During this period we dealt with 80 people which averages out at about 26 a year or two a month.  From Scotland to Kent and Wales to Cambridge, the majority of these were new cases with only 11 ‘returning’ from a previous time.  About 2/3 of the people we helped were women and ranged in age from 34-70 with a third being divorced/widowed or separated.  A third were married and the other third single. Most of the people in need were face-to-face interviewers or colleagues who worked in related jobs such as supervisors or field managers.  Debt problems brought on by illness, either themselves or with an immediate family member, were by far the main reason those applicants got in touch with us.

How we help 

We gave help in a variety of ways.  Mostly this was help with arrears in council tax, utility bills, mortgage payments or rent as these are crucial debts that if not paid can result in homelessness.  Help with the costs of running a car, e.g. MOT or repairs, were also high on our list, as a car is often essential for interviewer work.  Credit card debt was occasionally dealt with as those in real need do sometimes run up credit card bills just to cover the cost of providing food for the family.  Funeral expenses are another minority, but important issue, for those in real need who have suffered bereavement.

In most cases the help we give is a grant since we can see that it is unlikely the claimant will be able to pay back a loan.  Interest free loans are provided in the minority of cases when it is clear that the help needed is temporary and that the claimant will be able to pay us back in a short period of time.

The amounts we offer vary widely, from as little as £50 to over £7,000.  But what is missing from this analysis of just the last 3 years is the that the amount of money needed to make any kind of difference is increasing.  As the changes to social welfare continue to bit, we need to be able to provide more financial help and hopefully can do so as our fundraising activities continue to be successful.

In addition, what these statistics don’t give us are the heartbreaking stories behind these figures.  Like ‘Susan’.

She had enormous problems including a husband unable to work due to an injury, a son profoundly deaf who had little hope of getting a job, and issues with her own health.  We gave her considerable help including enabling her to buy a car so that she could return to work.

“I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for us over the last few months.  Please thank everybody for their kindness and understanding.  I feel such a burden to everybody, but I honestly do not know what I would have done without you to turn to.  I will never forget you all.”

Remember, if you or someone you know, needs our assistance, please email info@mrba.org.uk or ring 0345 652 0303 in complete confidence.