||Report of the Social Work Coordinator for the year 2017
Total enquiries for the year numbered 30 of which 16 cases were supported. Most applicants who approach the fund had already exhausted other avenues for help and been turned down. Consequently by the time the Charity became
involved these individuals were already worn down by lack of social support and overwhelmed by the bureaucratic pressures of today.
Whilst twenty years ago the Charity might have been able to help with a simple one-off grant payment, the nature of problems presented today are much more complex and require ultiple-agency involvement (such as, housing associations, CAB, social workers and health professionals, and the Netherlands embassy).
Often our Charity applicant is not in work and facing this bureaucratic challenge alone. By actively listening to its applicants the Charity focuses on providing appropriate response and help.
The Charity has a small number of beneficiaries who receive financial support on a monthly basis. These are often elderly, lonely and frail individuals who have long been known to us.
An overview of applicants helped this past year follows; many received supermarket vouchers as well as additional financial, social and bureaucratic support and for some support is ongoing…..
- A woman suffering from domestic violence, living in a damaged houseboat and unable to pay for boat repairs and heating. Visited by Trustees and provided with supermarket vouchers she is currently receiving monthly payments. Regular contact continues.
- Very elderly lady, in poor health with significant financial worries. Visited on several occasions by a Trustee. The Charity paid the overdue energy bill, although other overdue accounts exist.
- Homeless man with many bureaucratic complications. Unable to prove his Dutch heritage so as to obtain a Netherlands passport, he was barred from working in the UK by the Home Office. Following numerous meetings/contact with Trustees, and considerable effort in tracing the required paperwork (generations of birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates across various different countries).
This case took over twelve months to resolve, but in August 2017 he finally received his passport.
- Longing to go home, a man approached the Charity for help as he was destitute and had been drifting in the UK for several decades. An inability to hold down a job, suffering dental and other health issues, he had also lost contact with his family. Trustees visited him regularly, dental work was undertaken, and supermarket vouchers supplied. After many months of searching the Charity found sheltered accommodation in The Netherlands and flew him back to his homeland.
- A family living on the breadline with little income and four underage children with a foreign mother, was finally (after 8 months of negotiations with the Nederlandse Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst - IND), allowed to relocate to The Netherlands. Significant administrative problems were compounded by the absence of the father.
- A tragic case of a dying man who requested help with his own funeral costs so as to reduce the financial burden on his wife and underage son. This wish was fulfilled by the Charity. The Trustees maintain regular contact with the family.
- A single lady with mental health issues whose benefits had been withdrawn. Unable to work and burdened with fears of potentially losing her housing association home, and the stress of a Court case, the applicant was provided with emotional and active social support by Trustees who visited and guided her.
She won her case and is getting welfare support.
- A young single woman living in a hostel who desperately needed help with living costs and emotional support. Although rescued by social workers from a family home where physical abuse had taken place, she had on reaching 18 years of age been deemed to be an adult and Social Services dropped her case. Consequently her education suffered (with 3 court cases in 2 years) and the continuous emotional stress led to health problems. The Charity continues to provide charititable support and educational guidance.
- A grant to a lady who was caring for her elderly and frail mother.