Well here we are July 2021, this year seems to be going at lightening speed, but then doesn’t it always?

I have so many exciting things to look forward too this year, I have already been to 2 beautiful weddings, I have a trip to Cornwall, my Hen Do and obviously my wedding to Luke next January 2022. It’s certainly turning out to be a very busy year.

Whilst this year has eventually fallen into place, the story to get to this point has been a little bumpy to say the very least. There’s been some lows and quite a few tears along the way, but somehow (so far) it’s all come together nicely, although honestly I don’t know how!

So let’s rewind the story………… It all started after getting made redundant from my full time job in recruitment in September 2020. Although I kind of knew it was coming when it actually happened it hit me so hard, I felt lost. For the first time in so long I was actually jobless, with a house and a mortgage, and a dog! And not only that Christmas was fast approaching, and Christmas is always a big deal in my family.

I started applying for many (many, many) jobs online hoping that it wouldn’t be too long before I was back earning again, and I wasn’t really fussy either about what job I did, retail, office, waitressing, it didn’t bother me at all.

My confidence took a massive hit when rejection after rejection emails kept arriving in my mail box. 12 hours at pets at home – apparently I didn’t have enough experience, 15 hours in Holland & Barret – again not enough experience, it was a relentless influx of rejection emails or “sorry we won’t be moving forward with your application”.

Absolutely disheartened I decided to swallow my pride and apply for universal credit. Just to clarify there is nothing wrong with claiming benefits but I had never done so before, so it was all new to me.

For anyone who doesn’t know and is wondering Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly and works out about £500 per month (give or take). You can apply for it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work. It’s actually not easy to get, you have to fill out a lot of online forms, have a telephone interview and provide a lot of proof. Luke and I had to make a joint claim as we live together even though he works full time they wouldn’t let me do a single claim. I started the UC claim at the end of September 2020 and was so happy when I had finally done all the paperwork and had my telephone interview. I did kind of think that was it and the money would be paid to me at the end of October, during this time I was still looking for work.

So fast forward to the end of October I received an email from UC to say that I wasn’t eligible for any benefits as Luke my partner earns too much. I was told that he could manage the monthly housing payments by himself as well as the shopping bill and any other payments.

I felt completely let down by the system, I had always worked always paid my taxes, never had a gap in my employment but yet I wasn’t entitled to a single penny. And I think what got me the most was that in a round about way I was told that Luke could pay for everything because he could afford it, which as you can imagine made me feel completely worthless and useless!

Luckily a little bit of luck was on my side and I managed to find weekend work in the lead up to Christmas, after that I got a job working from home on the census project, and my uncle threw me the biggest lifeline by offering me work at his village pub. Without those jobs and the support of my family and Luke I’m not sure what I would have done, I honestly don’t know how I would have coped.

Thankfully Christmas although strange and different to other years was still amazing and there were plenty of presents, and of course in between I got engaged!

So what started off as a year like no other with plenty of hiccups and uncertainty, strangely enough ended up being the best for me, I mean getting engaged! What a way to end 2020!!

I am happy to say I am now back to work, having been thrown yet another lifeline by my mum who managed to get me a job at the same company she works for, working alongside her (actually she’s my line manager!) but it works! I am so thankful to everyone who gave me a chance and helped me out, it’s like all of a sudden I can just breath!

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