Experiences from people's diaries
Erik J
As I am on legacy benefits I do not qualify for free school meals which also means that my daughter can't access extra school holiday activities....
Diary extract on 31 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Erik J
Having to live on the money we have coming in and the issues with the pandemic as I am in the vulnerable group means we shall have to spend most of the summer holidays at home...
Diary extract on 31 July 2021
Summer
🍳 Getting by
🤹 Parenting
🧒 Children
Children's wellbeing
Erik J
Unfortunately this is starting out to be a long boring summer holiday for my teenage daughter. Something really needs to be done to help families on a low income find activities for children during school holidays...
Diary on 31 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Angie K
One year on from my Covid Realities birthday. I can be grateful for my family’s good health and my children’s promising development stages...
Diary on 30 July 2021
🧒 Children
🔙 2020 - looking back
Angie K
One year on from my Covid Realities birthday. I can be grateful for my family’s good health and my children’s promising development stages...
Diary extract on 30 July 2021
Blessing K
I will be sad to see Covid Realities go. I have thoroughly enjoyed my tea packs and goodies, the Zoom calls, and hearing that its not just me who is struggling...
Diary on 30 July 2021
⛑ Support
👥 Covid Realities
Destiny K
I’m honestly gonna miss this even though I haven’t been as active lately due to family health issues. Thank you for doing this study - it’s made me feel less alone during this time...
Diary on 30 July 2021
⛑ Support
👥 Covid Realities
Blessing K
Universal credit has been a lifeline
Diary on 28 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Charlotte P
So sad that things have to come to an end. I do worry if there’s another lockdown how I will cope without Covid Realities but I guess the group has made me grow as a person and I have coping strategies in place should further lockdowns occur...
Diary on 28 July 2021
👥 Covid Realities
Erik J
I am on legacy benefits, which have not been increased for several years. Despite being on this same benefit before I became a parent, then single parent, I am unable to claim anything extra despite having a daughter to bring up apart from the standard child benefit payment...
Diary on 28 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Utilities
Erik J
£20 a week to a family like ours would make a huge difference to both our daily lives and the outlook for the future. It would mean that when I top up my daughters lunch account she would not have to worry in case there was not enough left to get her through the week, and during the cold winter months we could use the heating in order to keep warm which is a very rare occurrence and has been for several years...
Diary extract on 28 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
💸 Money + debt
🌦 Politics & stigma
🍞 Food / food banks
Teddy W
I want the government to really think hard about this. £20 a week for me and my child so I don't have to rely on charity food banks, I can keep my car and have heating and food, I can have a little dignity and keep trying to get my foot up the ladder out of the big dark abyss of Universal Credit but this feels like I've a foot on my head pushing me down again because I don't deserve a chance...
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
🗳 Benefits
Teddy W
I joined Universal Credit in August 2020 so even though I'm aware the £20 extra is in there to me this is my normal support. I worry about the future when I'm looking to another long hard cold winter with £20 a week less to live on...
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
💸 Money + debt
Teddy W
I joined Universal Credit in August 2020 so even though I'm aware the £20 extra is in there to me this is my normal support. I worry about the future when I'm looking to another long hard cold winter with £20 a week less to live on...
Diary on 27 July 2021
🌦 Mental health
💸 Money + debt
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
Teddy W
Taking this £20 away from myself and my child could mean I can't afford to pay the extra for my rent driving me into rent arrears or I won't be able to pay for oil to heat our home...
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
🍳 Getting by
💛 Health + disability
🧒 Children
🌦 Mental health
🗳 Benefits
Lexie G
The removal of the £20 uplift will mean I will have to chose between heating my home and myself and my husband eating. The removal of £20 may not seem a lot to people in government who see it as pocket change but to us as a family it really does mean choosing between heating and eating...
Diary on 27 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Politics & stigma
🍳 Getting by
💸 Money + debt
Pearl N
I have written to my local MP to possibly expand nurseries, increase time for people to get qualifications before they have to work on UC and the potential of creating funding schemes for people with no family and lack of finance in order to receive funding for childcare...
Diary on 27 July 2021
Pearl N
I have written to my local MP to possibly expand nurseries
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
Pearl N
Universal credit should not force people to work if they do not have qualifications. I feel there should be working or education as an option not just working as it gives people the chance to get out of poverty and improve their lives...
Diary on 27 July 2021
🚧 Work
🌦 Politics & stigma
Pearl N
Universal Credit should not force people to work if they do not have qualifications....
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Pearl N
Universal credit should not force people to work if they do not have qualifications. I feel there should be working or education as an option not just working as it gives people the chance to get out of poverty and improve their lives...
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
Pearl N
Due to the pandemic being practically over, all nursery spaces are being taken up. Especially in Cornwall, the back log is six to twelve months...
Diary on 27 July 2021
Pearl N
I am in need of serious childcare and have put my son on all waiting lists for childminders and local nurseries. I feel that nurseries need an expansion in Cornwall...
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
Children's wellbeing
🧒 Children
Charlotte P
Really concerned about the £20 uplift being taken away. At this time during summer I struggle with uniform costs and bus passes...
Diary on 27 July 2021
Charlotte P
Really concerned about the £20 uplift being taken away. At this time during summer I struggle with uniform costs and bus passes...
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
Children's wellbeing
🍳 Getting by
🗳 Benefits
💸 Money + debt
🔮 Hopes + fears
🤹 Parenting
🏫 School
Charlotte P
for me the £20 is a necessity and not a privilege. What I buy with that money are essentials and not luxuries...
Diary extract on 27 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
Meg T
Covid19 self isolation day 9. Thank goodness for being double vaccinated - I have been absolutely fine & my lateral flow tests, like the PCR test taken last Sunday, have all been negative...
Diary on 26 July 2021
😷 Covid-19
Meg T
Covid19 self isolation day 9. Thank goodness for being double vaccinated - I have been absolutely fine & my lateral flow tests, like the PCR test taken last Sunday, have all been negative...
Diary extract on 26 July 2021
😷 Covid-19
Children's wellbeing
🌦 Mental health
💛 Health + disability
Erik J
Time is running out for diary entries, so as I sit here sweltering in the heat with not even enough money to buy an ice cream and a bag of ice I thought it was a good time to say how much I have enjoyed being a part of this section of the project It has been great for me to be able to express some of my fears and feelings anonymously while also feeling I may be helping to make a meaningful and well needed change to the way society thinks and acts about families that are living on low incomes, while also understanding that there are a lot of other people in the same position I find myself in...
Diary on 23 July 2021
👥 Covid Realities
🌦 Politics & stigma
Erik J
I will continue to be a part of the other parts of the project as it moves forward in the hope that collectively we can make a real difference to the way society treats and understands those who are less fortunate...
Diary extract on 23 July 2021
Meg T
I've redeemed my voucher in exchange for gift vouchers for my favoured supermarkets. I was stunned to see on the website that John Lewis and M&S are featured - I certainly can't afford to shop there...
Diary extract on 22 July 2021
🍳 Getting by
🍞 Food / food banks
Meg T
Regarding todays earlier post about "Covid Local Support Grant". As I've said, I'm really pleased to receive it...
Diary on 22 July 2021
Meg T
So in short, whilst I'm grateful for the vouchers, a direct payment into one's bank account as they do with cold weather payments would be a more equitable approach...
Diary extract on 22 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
Charlotte P
I have been diagnosed with long Covid and normal every day life is hard never mind the heat. The heat is adding to my lethargy and it’s extremely difficult to cope...
Diary on 22 July 2021
😷 Covid-19
Summer
💸 Money + debt
Charlotte P
So it’s that time of the year again when uniforms are to be bought. The place I need to get my daughters grammar uniform has a 20% sale on but only until the end of July and I simply don’t have the money for it so will have to pay full price...
Diary on 22 July 2021
💸 Money + debt
🧒 Children
🏫 School
Meg T
It's been one week and one day since my son's assessment for Personal Independence Payment. Given the current restrictions, it was a telephone appointment...
Diary on 22 July 2021
Meg T
I fear that his Disabled Living Allowance which he has currently been in receipt of (but has had to switch to PIP because he is now 16) will be ended and ended early in spite of evidence to the contrary...
Diary extract on 22 July 2021
🔮 Hopes + fears
Meg T
It's been one week and one day since my son's assessment for Personal Independence Payment. Given the current restrictions, it was a telephone appointment...
Diary extract on 22 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Meg T
Wow! What a surprise! I've just received a food aid voucher in the post for £75 for my 16 year old to help with the cost of food during the summer holidays as part of their "Covid Local Support Grant"...
Diary on 22 July 2021
Meg T
I've just received a food aid voucher in the post for £75 for my 16 year old to help with the cost of food during the summer holidays as part of their "Covid Local Support Grant"...
Diary extract on 22 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Children's wellbeing
🧒 Children
🌦 Politics & stigma
Meg T
Covid is not a hoax, nor is it a joke. He wishes folk would take it seriously, including the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, whom despite being "pinged" by the NHS Covid-19 app because he had been in contact with Sajid Javed - the new Secretary of State for Health, still travelled to Chequers, the incumbent PM's country estate even though he was supposed to be isolating at 10 Downing Street...
Diary extract on 21 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
Meg T
Today my Covid reality is that whilst in the midst of a heatwave, it is Day three of isolation for me and my 16 year old son. He has developed Covid 19 - his symptoms of a tickly cough started on Saturday afternoon...
Diary on 21 July 2021
😷 Covid-19
😷 Testing and vaccines
💛 Health + disability
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
Children's wellbeing
Aurora T
Today I discovered the provision for summer clubs is instead of the free school meal holiday voucher scheme. Fine when these clubs are close-by...
Diary on 19 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
🍞 Food / food banks
Erik J
In general life has been a struggle right through the pandemic, but I now feel lonelier than ever, today was my birthday and I have not received a single message, card or call from anybody
Diary extract on 17 July 2021
🔙 2020 - looking back
Erik J
It's the first weekend of my daughter's summer holiday, I am already wondering how I am going to be able to feed her properly and keep her entertained until she returns to school in September...
Diary on 17 July 2021
Children's wellbeing
🌦 Mental health
🏫 School
Teddie G
Well where do I start, as things are supposed to be getting back to normal it seems we are being more isolated than ever. In the last 18 months things have been a challenge for everyone and I think personally there will be more to come...
Diary on 17 July 2021
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
😷 Covid-19
Teddie G
I’m extremely clinically vulnerable and I’d hate to put myself or other vulnerable people in danger because I’d turned track an trace off. I think it’s more scary now the amount coming down ill and wouldn’t be surprised if by mid autumn we are not in lockdown back to square one! I think our government are now letting us all down...
Diary extract on 17 July 2021
😷 Covid-19
💛 Health + disability
Teddie G
In the last few weeks requests for self isolating have hit my family more than ever! First my husband gets pinged to isolate, he works in retail and he’d been near someone who had COVID, then we were asked to self isolate to allow my daughter to have teeth removed in the hospital...
Diary extract on 17 July 2021
😷 Covid-19
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
Charlotte P
So the weather is really on fire with the excessive heat and so are the emotions here in Northern Ireland over the lessening of restrictions in England...
Diary on 16 July 2021
Summer
🌦 Politics & stigma
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🏫 School
Victoria B
I need to vent something, get it off my chest. Last week I was talking to a friend of mine about the £20 being cut in autumn...
Diary on 16 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Politics & stigma
🍳 Getting by
Victoria B
Last week I was talking to a friend of mine about the £20 being cut in autumn. This friend is a lovely person, I adore them, they care alot and try to be understanding and empathic towards low income households...
Diary extract on 16 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
🍞 Food / food banks
Alex R
Wheely bin day tomorrow. Bin already full when I moved in...
Diary on 15 July 2021
🍳 Getting by
🏢 Housing
Alex R
Nicola Sturgeon has announced the whole of Scotland is going onto level 0 for Covid restrictions from 19th July. Is this for good? Will it change again? I'm not eating much as no appetite...
Diary on 14 July 2021
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🍞 Food / food banks
🗳 Benefits
Summer
Dot P
I had my first face to face appointment at the job centre today. Being exempt from wearing a mask I was a little nervous as to how I would be received...
Diary on 13 July 2021
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🗳 Benefits
💛 Health + disability
Aurora T
I’m quite apprehensive about the job centres reopening. Always feel an almost sense of doom...
Diary on 12 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🚧 Work
🌦 Politics & stigma
Nellie K
Re-opening of jobcentres I hate having to go to the job centre. Here’s why: - it takes a huge amount of time out of the day, travelling there, waiting and waiting, and travelling home again...
Diary on 12 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🌦 Politics & stigma
Erik J
RE: Job centre reopening. Good or bad I think they need to get back up and running as long as there are changes made...
Diary on 12 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🕺 Keeping healthy
😷 Covid-19
Erik J
If the government won't keep restrictions in place to protect us we must all do what we can to protect ourselves from harm....
Diary extract on 12 July 2021
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
😷 Covid-19
Erik J
RE: Job centre reopening. Good or bad I think they need to get back up and running as long as there are changes made...
Diary extract on 12 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
Victoria B
This is a diary entry in direct response to an email about DWP and reopening of job centres. Unsurprisingly I'm happy to share my opinion...
Diary on 12 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Politics & stigma
🌦 Mental health
Lexie G
I am not looking forward to job centres reopening. In my experience they're nothing short of useless and a source of extra embarrassment...
Diary on 12 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Politics & stigma
🍳 Getting by
Teddy W
So job seeker offices are opening up again. I've never had to attend one and to be honest as a 48 year old single parent working I feel that attending my nearest office is an unnecessary requirement...
Diary on 12 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Politics & stigma
Teddy W
Being on UC carries its own stigma and shame without having to be seen walking into an office when I am already working albeit not full time but I am trying within the conditions I have right now...
Diary extract on 12 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
🗳 Benefits
🚧 Work
Charlotte P
So more information regards uniform. I understand the uniform bill has been modified in England but over in Northern Ireland it hasn’t and it’s very disappointing...
Diary on 11 July 2021
🍳 Getting by
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Mental health
🧒 Children
🏫 School
Syeda F
I know being on UC means you have to tighten your belt, look to ways to cut your spending. I am virtually at my end of that and struggling to think of other ways to achieve this...
Diary extract on 10 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
💸 Money + debt
Syeda F
. Its been an good period without anything rocking the boat so to speak...
Diary extract on 10 July 2021
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
Syeda F
Well I think I have to record what is happening right now. Pretty much since my last diary entry things have just ticked along...
Diary on 10 July 2021
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
🌦 Politics & stigma
Syeda F
The biggest worry now is money - the ending of the £20pw UC Covid uplift. I knew this was coming so I have tried to prepare - I have reduced some of my expenditure where I could (switched to cheaper gas/electricity contract, cheaper phone contract)...
Diary extract on 10 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
🌦 Politics & stigma
Syeda F
The government just doesn't seem to realise that their "austerity" measures in the last few years massively reduced the value of UC when it was introduced...
Diary extract on 10 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
Erik J
The government of the UK is playing games with the lives of millions of people! No face mask, no social distancing, no school bubbles. Covid is starting to spread fast...
Diary on 09 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🗳 Benefits
😷 Covid-19
🔮 Hopes + fears
Aurora T
Just listened to Boris when questioned on the removal of the £20 uplift. Although we do not qualify - I would like to say how angry his response has made me...
Diary on 07 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
🗳 Benefits
Aurora T
Today I received a code from the council. They have provided a provision for summer clubs over the holidays...
Diary on 07 July 2021
🍳 Getting by
⛑ Support
Fiona T
This week I'm FINALLY taking care of myself properly. I've been to the dentist twice and booked a hair appointment, something I haven't done in over a year...
Diary on 07 July 2021
🔮 Hopes + fears
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🕺 Keeping healthy
Teddy W
As we look toward the summer now. School has ended here in Northern Ireland and we have been told children on Free School Meals will again receive the financial support over the 8 week period which is brilliant...
Diary on 07 July 2021
🍞 Food / food banks
🏫 School
🍳 Getting by
Meg T
Fuming! Received letter regarding a potential over payment of Child Tax Credit as in receipt of Carers Allowance - all previously declared. Forty four minutes of intense anxiety on hold on the phone wondering how on earth I will pay it back with my limited level of income...
Diary on 07 July 2021
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Mental health
🌦 Politics & stigma
Rian J
Good night. I feel very happy at now because my husband got two vaccinations 💉 and also I got one...
Diary on 04 July 2021
Rian J
I feel very happy at naw because my husband got two vaccinations 💉 and also I got one. I heard the news government said everything will be reopen and of this month’ there for people should be very careful about their health still lots of people are getting a vaccinations 💉...
Diary extract on 04 July 2021
😷 Testing and vaccines
🥰 Lovely moments
😷 Covid-19
Charlotte P
Glad to be back there was a glitch in me writing diary entries. This week my two children have got off for summer so worried about things financially and also there’s a hype in Northern Ireland about this new Delta variant so it’s hard to know what will happen...
Diary on 03 July 2021
😷 Covid-19
🔮 Hopes + fears
🏫 School
Meg T
New term for folk on my Facebook feed today - "Scratlets!" ie. folk who scrounge off the state...
Diary on 03 July 2021
🌦 Politics & stigma
Meg T
You know you live in a deprived area when, on visiting the pharmacy to pick up your prescription, the assistant on duty wearily asks, without blinking "What exemption is it?"...
Diary on 03 July 2021
🍳 Getting by
💛 Health + disability
Victoria B
Before Covid I had money worries, but on income support the money I received was spaced out though the month (income support fortnightly and child tax credit weekly) that we always had enough money for a bus ticket and would use the month child benefit for days out...
Diary extract on 02 July 2021
🍳 Getting by
🗳 Benefits
🌦 Mental health
🧒 Children
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
😷 Covid-19
Victoria B
I've been wanting to write this diary entry but wasn't sure how to phrase it, where to start, etc. Then today I read in the news that our local town centre has exciting community events planned for the summer and winter, everything from a parade to fireworks to markets...
Diary on 02 July 2021
🧒 Children
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🍳 Getting by
Lexie G
I’ve been quite poorly with my mental health. Everyone seems so happy at the world getting back to normal and im terrified about it...
Diary on 01 July 2021
🌦 Mental health
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
Alex R
Covid numbers are apparently increasing. Its hay fever season and phlegm runs down my throat which makes me cough...
Diary on 29 June 2021
💛 Health + disability
Alex R
Thinking ahead constantly calculating money and bills, its mentally exhausting....
Diary on 29 June 2021
🍳 Getting by
💸 Money + debt
Rian J
[The last couple of days'] weather is quiet cooler that’s why I didn’t go out side last week also my health wasn’t good. Today I went to a nice park with my husband there have lots of nice trees 🌲 everywhere looks like green I enjoyed very much there...
Diary extract on 28 June 2021
Summer
Rian J
Good night. I live in Bradford...
Diary on 28 June 2021
Paige E
Sorry I’ve been so quiet. Back to work with a bang...
Diary on 28 June 2021
🚧 Work
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
Erik J
Then of course there is concern about money when you are living on a low income without any family to help out in any way. We do have internet access at home and basic tv channels but I can't keep my daughter locked up in front of a screen for the summer...
Diary extract on 28 June 2021
🗳 Benefits
🍳 Getting by
🚀 Future
Erik J
My teenage daughter has three weeks left at school before the start of the summer holidays, this is causing me a lot of anxiety for several reasons and even my daughter is not looking forward to the long break...
Diary on 28 June 2021
🗳 Benefits
🏫 School
🍳 Getting by
Erik J
My teenage daughter has three weeks left at school before the start of the summer holidays, this is causing me a lot of anxiety for several reasons and even my daughter is not looking forward to the long break...
Diary extract on 28 June 2021
😷 Covid-19
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
Angie K
You never quite know what you have been through until you talk to someone. Evaluation has such power...
Diary on 27 June 2021
⛑ Support
🌦 Mental health
Rosie J
I’ve just received my degree results and I’ve got a first! Throughout the pandemic my studies have kept me focused, providing me with the stability I needed to weather the storm...
Diary on 22 June 2021
🥰 Lovely moments
Rosie J
My daughter lost her part time job at the start of the pandemic in 2020. She got another job but last week she started back at her original job...
Diary on 21 June 2021
🚧 Work
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🍳 Getting by
Meg T
Well approximately £100 out of pocket later, it turns out the belt and pulley system wasn't the issue, so I still haven't resolved the problem with my tumble dryer...
Diary on 21 June 2021
🍳 Getting by
💛 Health + disability
Utilities
Erik J
More tough decisions to make!. At the start of the pandemic I signed up to broadband so my daughter could complete her school work and interact with her friends, with a Talk-Talk package advertised as having no price increase during the 18 month contract...
Diary on 19 June 2021
Utilities
🍳 Getting by
💸 Money + debt
Meg T
Noooo! Now my kettle isn't working!!!!!! ARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!
Diary on 18 June 2021
🍳 Getting by
Utilities
Fiona T
This week we came away to the English seaside to get some temporary escapism from the big city. Things here feel brighter and the beach has been a welcome change of scenery...
Diary on 17 June 2021
🕰 Lockdown, rules, and social distancing
🍳 Getting by
💸 Money + debt
Lola P
Hit my all time low today. I don’t know how much I can take I’m trying so hard to stay positive for the children but how can I be positive when I can’t even feed them? I’ve tried three food banks in my areas and all they’re contact details don’t work...
Diary on 16 June 2021
🌦 Mental health
🍳 Getting by
🍞 Food / food banks
Erik J
Time to enjoy the sun? Not for me with the virus still gaining strength and spreading I am still to wary of leaving home except for essential reasons due to being at a higher risk even though I have received both vaccines...
Diary on 16 June 2021
🍳 Getting by
Summer
😷 Covid-19
Contributors featured in
More media logos
Menu