"I am a low income single parent. I have been trying to improve my lot in life through academic work. I didn't want my growing children to be adults and still worry about me not having the basics. I live in a part of the country that has high deprivation and low education, wages are lower than else where in the country, it's hard to do well financially even if you work all the hours in the day and night. I completed a masters that was self funded through work and did well, came out of that with a distinction. I then opted to self fund a PhD in the hope that I may be one day able to access more stable and better paid work one day. My Phd began in February 2020 and by March I had no work due to lockdown. The year has continued in this way with government guidance restricting or prohibiting work. We are now in another lockdown and I am not allowed to work again. I have struggled to afford normal stuff in life, with less income, more covid costs of kids at home, online learning and my own academic cost increases with no access to the library or campus and a need to upgrade our rubbish technology. I have struggled to find the brainspace with everything going on but have managed it somehow despite low cognitive bandwith. In the middle of a global pandemic with increasing unemployment and poverty, particularly for women and single parents, this morning I read an email from my university threatening me with a debt collection agency . My research is about the shame and stigma associated with poverty. You couldn't make it up. "

Howie P
Feb 6, 2021

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