I was supporting a 19 year old young woman who was having twins. Her boyfriend had moved on and she was living in a one bedroom house that had no carpet, the walls were just plastered, no wallpaper or anything. Because she was a single parent, having twins and living in that condition she was worried about what the midwife, health visitors and maybe even social services would think of her.
She didn’t even have a cooker although she had lived there for about a year. She told me that she had been told that the connection for the cooker would cost money that she didn’t have so she sold the cooker and bought a microwave. It turned out that she was told wrong.
Because she had no cooker she was eating out of the chippy and she had gone off certain food because she was pregnant. Cooking in the microwave meant that she had a limited choice of food and this resulted in her being referred to a dietitian because she was losing weight. However, because she didn’t have a cooker she couldn’t be supported by the dietitian because they do meal planning and cooking in the home. She was not gaining weight and one of the babies was not growing. Because of this she was induced at about 36 weeks.
City Mission got a cooker for her but she couldn’t afford the £30 so I contacted Buttle UK to get her some financial help to buy the cooker. I asked for a cooker and washing machine but due to financial situation in this country she could only have one or the other and she chose the cooker. When she got the cooker she was really pleased and she said ‘It’s the first time I’ve cooked a proper dinner in this house’.
When she first moved in her and her boyfriend were stripping the walls because they wanted to redecorate. The walls were coming off with the paper. She spoke to her housing officer who told her to carry on stripping to see what the walls looked like. She did this and was then told they would only fix the chimney breast. I took photos of the house and sent those to the housing with a letter. They still said they would only do one wall. I wrote another letter and eventually they did the front room and the bedroom.
Because the walls have been done now, her friends have helped her to decorate, her Uncle gave her money to buy some carpet. So by the time the babies came along she had a comfortable little home around her. I referred her to family support not because she needed help with the babies but just so that someone could speak on her behalf nad to support her with her housing.