Pete's Story

sad-4133121 credit Sammy Willi

Pete couldn't sleep at night for worrying...

Pete was a chef at a Newmarket restaurant - but the business depended on horseracing and tourism, all of which dried up. He was made redundant in April and although he's tried really hard to get another job, there's just nothing out there, even for a chef with 17 years' experience.

He applied for Universal Credit, but it didn’t cover even the essentials of rent, utility bills, food. The family cut back on everything, and it still wasn’t enough.

Sometimes Pete and his wife Carol had to skip meals so their two boys didn’t have to go hungry. They were going to bed early just to save on electricity and heating costs.

Pete couldn’t sleep at night for worrying. Every day, his bank balance was going further and further into the red, and he felt utterly powerless to do anything about it.

As he watched his bank balance slide further and further into the red, Pete just had no idea what to do. He felt like he was a failure and that he'd let himself and his family down. 

But then Pete contacted REACH – and got the help he needed

Justine, one our Community Outreach Advisors, takes up Pete’s story:

“…Pete heard about Reach and phoned us. I could hear the desperation in his voice as he explained his situation. I asked lots of questions, and within half an hour we’d identified how to make a huge difference to his situation. He had no food left, so we arranged for him to get a food box that same day. There were two benefits he was eligible for but hadn’t known about – so we’d help him apply for those to improve his income. We’d negotiate the repayments on his credit card to make them more manageable. And I could link him up with a local mental health charity for emotional support.

“By the end of the conversation, we could both see the way forward. Pete was ecstatic with relief. Later, he said;

“I felt sick with panic, like I was being crushed but now I know there’s a way through this, and it’s like a huge weight’s been lifted off  my shoulders. Thank you – I’m so very grateful. It’s like you’ve given me back my life.”

“I keep in regular contact with Pete to see how he’s doing and encourage him – we’ll be there for him as long as he needs us. But already he can see the light at the end of the tunnel, he’s sleeping better at night, and he’s starting to believe in himself again.”

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