Lois N on 13 February 2021
Q. How has the pandemic impacted your monthly budget?

Really early on in the pandemic, I lost my job. Also lost my sister at the same time. She passed away in May last year and her youngest daughter became a little bit of my responsibility and still is in terms of she's autistic and she got elevated needs. My nephew's looking after lots and lots of real big challenges. Financially at that time I was lucky enough to get a couple of pay outs and I'd also got an advance from Universal Credit. So losing my job didn't hit this hard initially because I had that advance. As the year went on I was squeezed and squeezed more because you can't go out and shop in a thrifty way. My son's on free school meals. He goes to a special provision. My son's got increased needs, special educational needs. So I can't do the shop that I would before and be really thrifty and go to lots of different places. Although the food voucher scheme, which our school is a specialist provision. So they've carried it on regardless of whether the council has which has been amazing. But I can't shop thrift. I'm having to buy my some more stuff to calm him because he's so agitated because this is so uncertain for him skill have been fantastic and stepped in. I can't work. No chance. I'm trying to home-school a child with special needs and keep him, you know more ahead of the crowd in some ways. So it's really hard. But I'm really super worried about when Rishi Sunak announces whether or not we get the uplift because that's when the advances start to get paid back and not knowing is horrible.

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