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Putting crisis behind her: Marie’s story

9 July 2015

The Big Lottery Fund recently launched a £30 million initiative to improve the prospects of people living in crisis as a result of hardship. In this blog we hear from ‘Marie’, who turned to her local Citizen’s Advice Bureau when issues in her life began to spiral out of control.

‘Marie’ first approached Ribble Valley Citizens Advice Bureau for help with a benefits form. The adviser realised her situation involved severe financial and emotional difficulties. Following the death of her husband, Marie, 47, was left with large debts including thousands of pounds of benefits over-payment. Her life was at crisis.

Advice-phoneline-picMarie is registered as blind, has learning difficulties, short-term memory problems and is partially deaf and dyslexic. She found the situation overwhelming and began experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety. Social services became involved and Marie’s children were taken away from her.

Marie said, “It took me a year and a half to finally ask for help. If it wasn’t for the CAB and the Salvation Army, I would be starving.”

In the first month, the CAB caseworker provided intensive support to help Marie to gain control over her finances. Over the next five months, they helped Marie to get a Debt Relief Order to get her finances under control and work with other local agencies to sort out her urgent housing and benefits issues. The CAB also worked with Marie to arrange emergency food parcels, a much needed carpet and a cooker.

Marie who now volunteers for the Salvation Army said: “Thanks to the help of the CAB and others and a lot of hard work on my part things are much better. I fought hard to get my children back and I’m so happy to have my daughters living with me and to be in touch with my son. Things aren’t perfect but we work through things together.”

Marie’s financial situation is greatly improved and the CAB is working with her on money management skills and continuing to support her in other ways.

Marie is really grateful for all the help she received. “The Salvation Army was great, they gave me confidential emotional support and they even paid for my train tickets so I was able to visit my Dad before he passed away.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this blog, please visit for details of your local branch. 

To find out more about the work of the Salvation Army, visit their website

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