Andrew was living in Lancashire after being released from prison in February. Upon his release from prison he was able to find accommodation with his local Housing Association and used his savings to start up his own gardening business.
Whilst his business was in its early stages of development he was earning £100 a week. Unfortunately such a modest budget was not enough to cover his outgoings, in order to pay his rent and keep up with his bills he found himself dipping into his savings. Once the last of his savings had been used, Andrew realised he needed to seek financial support whilst his business was still growing.
Using an online search Andrew came across the Turn2us website which he found, ‘foolproof and easy to navigate’. Using the free Benefits Calculator he found he was entitled to Housing Benefit and a Council Tax Reduction. He says: “I could do it in my time, my own space, and obviously it was quite straightforward from there, it just told me where I needed to make applications and I did that.”
Once Andrew’s new benefit applications had been accepted, he started to receive £62 a week in Housing Benefit and an annual Council Tax Reduction of £200. These new benefits have allowed Andrew to focus on his business and worry less about money, “It’s made it a lot easier, a lot less stressful, and obviously going forward now I can put all my energy into the business rather than worrying where my rent is coming from.
“I’m just earning more now and things are picking up. I’ve got a good customer base and within 12 months, I think I’ll be able to successfully come off those benefits and my business will be strong enough to sustain me.”
Andrew said he would recommend Turn2us to others. “A lot of people suffer in silence, but there are things out there that people may be entitled to, so it’s always worth having a look. It’s good that there’s somebody out there pointing people in the right direction and making it easy.”