Left with 60 pence and still has faith this Christmas

  • “I did everything I usually do, paid for the heating, electricity and the debt payments and I was left with 60p, and in floods of tears.”
  • “It’s painful to know that I have worked since I was 17 years old, yet this is where I am in my life.”
  • “I’m still in trouble – and now I feel like my daughter has to bear the consequences of those actions.”

As Christmas approaches, Jacqui Griggs is one of many who faces a tough few months with rising bills and raising a child. This year, thanks to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, she also knows she will not be doing it alone.

Jacqui, who had a successful career in the RAF spanning eight years, chose to leave the Service after undiagnosed depression led to alcohol abuse. Unfortunately, she continued to face difficulties in civvy street, falling into a dysfunctional relationship and being encouraged to take out huge payday loans she couldn’t afford to pay back.

After some years, Jacqui ended the relationship and met someone else. When she became pregnant, she decided she needed to take charge of her future. Now a single mother to one-year-old Faith, crippled with debt, she recently turned to SSAFA to help get back on her feet:

“I looked at my daughter and felt this enormous guilt that we were struggling so much to get by. One of the mums on an anonymous online mums’ group was connected to SSAFA and asked if she could pass them my number. I agreed and before long I was called by my case worker.”

The day after, Jacqui’s case worker got in touch asking if she wanted support, Jacqui went to see her at the local SSAFA office in Newcastle-under-Lyme. For Jacqui this was a huge moment. She had finally met someone who was prepared to help her.

“The team gave me a massive food parcel, and they were lovely with Faith. She had fun, running around the whole place making friends with everyone. SSAFA’s given me the grounding to take charge of my situation – and now there is an end in sight.”

“My case isn’t yet closed. My case worker connected me to a debt charity to help me manage my debts and I now have consolidated them. I pay less each month, so I have more than 60p to survive on. I’ve been given the grounding to take charge of my situation – and now there is an end in sight.”

For Jacqui, it wasn’t just the practical advice that helped:

“I go with Faith to the local SSAFA office once a week. We drink tea and chat and it’s such a good community. One cup of tea with the team a week makes our week, we love it. They welcome my daughter and play with her so I can have a brew in peace. It’s amazing.”

Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference.

If you can offer your time, no matter how much or how little, you can make a huge impact on someone else’s life. Find out more by going to ssafa.org.uk/volunteer.

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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