Amanda is 32 years old and has worked in racing since graduating from the BRS. She works as a part-time Work Rider in Newmarket and has two children aged 8 and 10 years. Amanda’s marriage broke down just over a year ago when her husband left her for a new partner. Amanda described this as a total shock as she hadn’t anticipated this ever happening and so she became very depressed as a result.
Amanda’s ex-husband had always managed the finances and so she found this difficult to manage on her own and in her own words ‘buried her head in the sand’ about money matters. Racing Welfare was first alerted to Amanda’s situation after her Housing Officer referred her to us for help and support. Amanda lives in a Housing Association property and had accumulated rent arrears which had escalated to a level which triggered an eviction notice.
With Amanda’s permission a Welfare Officer made contact and, in an initial appointment, took detailed information in order to fully assess the situation. Amanda was at risk of losing her home, and her depression was also severe and was impacting on her ability to function and deal with everyday tasks.
The Welfare Officer helped Amanda contact her GP for support and she was prescribed anti-depressants. Racing Welfare also organised some counselling alongside her medication so she could talk to a professional about her marriage breakdown.
Our Welfare Officer then helped Amanda to identify what were priority debts and liaised with her creditors to set up affordable repayment plans. However, as Amanda was at risk of homelessness Racing Welfare awarded a grant to repay the rent arrears to secure her tenancy for her family. An income and expenditure assessment revealed that Amanda simply did not have enough money coming in to cover her outgoings. This was because she was not claiming all the state benefits she was entitled to in order to top up her part-time income. A Welfare Officer helped Amanda to claim tax credits which maximised her income to enable her to manage and cover her outgoings. At the same time the counselling began to help her deal with the impact of her marriage breakdown.
Slowly Amanda’s resilience and strength returned and she felt able to manage on her own. Our team worked with Amanda for a period of seven months meeting regularly and reviewing the situation until Amanda no longer needed our support – though she is aware that if she needs us at any time in the future she can call us.