Q. What does Covid Realities mean to you right now?
I first got involved with Covid Realities after checking a benefits calculator online and finding the link. I was not sure what to expect but felt it was a good idea to be able to put down some of my experiences of living on a low income with the hope that the ministers in government may realise that the benefits system needs updating so that people like myself have access to a fair system that leaves them able to support their families in a way that enables them to have access to fresh healthy food, a warm home and clothing. In my opinion too many families do not have the support in order for them be to able to bring their children up in a way that does not leave them feeling they do not have the same opportunities in life that others do. It is not the fault of children but it is often them that suffer which in turn can impact on their future lives. I have found that it has helped me get through the last very difficult year, just having somewhere I can express my feelings and to understand there are a lot of other people in a similar situation. I often think that I am some way to blame for the life we are living, therefore my daughter will have limited opportunities to try and improve things for her future. The benefit system is totally wrong and does not give you the money or support in order to try and improve life for yourself. Forms are often difficult to fill out, you wait too long for decisions to be made and if you should need to speak to them over the phone they do not have the understanding of the problems people are facing. Personally I find it very hard to communicate on the phone and feel they should be given some sort of training on how to deal with people in a calm and understanding way. I will continue to stay involved with this programme while it is running and hope that in the end the government will take note of the problems families on low incomes face, making changes that will make a real difference to peoples lives.