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Kevin smiling whilst holding his dog Bella in the centre of Lutterworth.
Kevin with his little dog Bella.

Kevin (59) is looking forward to a promising Christmas with his little dog Bella. And yet, just a few weeks ago things were looking much bleaker.

He had worked throughout his life as a coal miner, he'd been able to support himself and his family from his previous marriage. However, his luck changed, after trying to resolve a fight. Left with a shattered eye socket, his mental health started to decline as did his physical health. He was unable to work and struggling to cope living on £400 pounds a month.

Kevin found out about the project through VAL who felt like our project could help. Working closely with other partners including Vista they began to construct a list of priorities to work through. For Kevin, this was addressing the low income he was receiving and looking at better ways to manage.

Over several months, our team supported Kevin by addressing his low income with Universal Credit. Mentally he was unable to cope and couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, meeting up with a keyworker and other members of the team consistently helped break his cycle of isolation. He has also since received the money he was supposed to be receiving in time for the 25th. "It means I can get some nice food for Bella this year."

Now able to afford transport, he can visit his son and start to enjoy life again. He's met somebody new and is looking after his dog with less financial stress. He's also started playing golf again and is looking to buy a second-hand saxophone to rediscover his musical talents. "Before I was in a bad way. But now I'm up here and that's thanks to the project."

In the new year, Kevin is now looking to apply for work that's right for him. He's keen to take up gardening potentially - on a flexible basis. This way he can help others, enjoy life and earn once again.