“I felt relieved. I felt calm. I felt good that someone finally helped remove this burden from me”

*Fara, a 51-year-old resident of social housing provided by Wandsworth Council, suffers from debilitating disabilities following a stroke that occurred last year. She came to us in despair after the council revoked the social care provided to support her numerous health conditions, citing a £21,000 debt owed from prior care given as the reason for denying her the necessary assistance.  

“When I was told I had the debt, I became depressed and extremely anxious; I was paranoid and started triple locking my door in fear of bailiffs. I was so confused, how was it that the council who is supposed to look after me, was instead creating such stress and anger in me, a stroke victim, who was under their care.”  

After multiple attempts to contact the council, Fara felt helpless. The council refused to acknowledge her claims of a possible system error, and instead demanded immediate payment, threatening her with further action if this was not carried out. Desperate and especially vulnerable, Fara struggled to complete her day-to-day tasks, such as picking up her medication, or eating properly without the necessary care.  

“I felt completely ignored and withdrawn from the system.” 

One day, after searching extensively for other sources of assistance, Fara was fortunate enough to stumble across our website, leading her to meet our skilled Money Adviser, Andrew Boba. After carefully listening to Fara’s situation, Andrew was able to quickly determine that the council were not legally permitted to withdraw care from someone in Fara’s condition, regardless of her arrears. 

“What the council did was illegal, they took my care away and left me to suffer on my own. I asked myself: How is this my life? How are the people that are supposed to be helping me, causing panic attacks and seizures that make my health conditions worse.”  

Andrew guided Fara through the various debt relief options available to her, assisting her in applying for her chosen debt relief order, and advising her on all the necessary steps and questions to ensure a successful application. 

A month later, Fara received the amazing news that her debt relief order had been approved and that the £21,000 had been cleared from her shoulders.  

“I felt so much better. I felt relieved. I felt calm. I felt good that someone finally helped remove this burden from me. Andrew’s kind support has helped ease my mind. I finally feel like I am safe enough to leave the house and get the medical help I need. It was only after it was gone that I realised how the debt had been crippling me.”  

Fara has felt a lot better since her debt has been wiped, and has been able to use her newfound mental ease to seek the social care she deserves. She is currently in the process of securing a qualified carer to help her through her daily life.  

However, whilst some of the financial burden has been lifted, the trauma gained from the situation has left a significant impact on Fara’s life. The experience has made her feel insecure, knowing that such detriment could come from the council and the lack of care they showed during this period of struggle. 

“There is still a fear that this may come back, but I am so grateful to Andrew, and knowing that you [South West London Law Centres] are there to offer help when I need it, I do feel safer.”  

Our Money Advice Team has provided invaluable support to numerous individuals throughout London, assisting them with financial struggles that the cost of living crisis has only exacerbated in recent years. This service is dedicated to ensuring that people like Fara receive the help they deserve, addressing issues such as rent arrears, utility debts, Council Tax arrears, and more.  

If you’re experiencing financial difficulties similar to Fara, we encourage you to get advice here. We’re here to help. 

*Name has been changed