“His hours have been getting cut every week, and next time he might not get any”: supporting families during the coronavirus pandemic

Tuesday 28 July 2020
Black and white photo of boys old trainers with holes

Kim, her partner and their three-year-old daughter, Molly, who has sensory issues, were supported by Action for Children emergency fund when her partners' hours were cut, halving their usual income

“I didn’t want Molly to struggle.”

Kim* has been supported by Action for Children since Molly was little, helping understand Molly’s disabilities. Molly has epilepsy, taking between 20 and 40 seizures a day and also struggles to walk, having only learnt recently with the support of splints.

The family had always managed financially. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Kim’s partners hours were halved resulting in less income. Kim said: "My partner is a worker, he would sometimes do up to seven days a week. He delivers cookers and big housing appliances, but obviously people don’t want you coming into your home so he isn’t needed as much now.

“His hours have been getting cut every week, and next time he might not get any. Suddenly we are having to really worry about rent, council tax, bills on top of everything else. My daughter usually goes to nursery, but she is home now obviously. She is so little so thankfully she doesn’t need to understand.”

Kim was told about the Action for Children emergency fund by her family support key worker to ensure the family could continue to put food on the table and Molly could keep learning. Kim said: “At first, I didn’t want to accept. But then I didn’t want Molly to struggle.

“And the money has let us buy the food we need. We only had two towels between the three of us so I was able to get more. Molly still needs night-time nappies, and they are so expensive, but we were able to get them.

“One of the best bits was we were able to buy paint for Molly. Because of her disabilities, she struggles with talking and doesn’t like touching a lot of things, but she loves paint. So we were able to buy her paint and she can just get messy with it in the garden and seems so happy.

“It’s so nice to watch and the two of us can just have a great time together. We have to take it day by day, but I don’t like to think where we’d be if we hadn’t accepted the support.”

*Name has been changed