Sharon's story | Education Support
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Sharon and her daughter - teachers and education staff grants

Sharon's story

You may find it hard to believe that a teacher could end up living in a garden shed with her 10-year-old daughter, yet that’s exactly what happened to Sharon.

She’d just been promoted when her life spun out of control. Two weeks into her new role and out of the blue, she was summoned to give evidence in court about some very distressing experiences in her childhood. In the stressful months that followed, Sharon suffered a miscarriage and her husband left her. Her whole world unravelled.

Needing a fresh start, Sharon moved abroad with her daughter to take up a teaching post. But after two years of struggling on a pitifully low salary, she was forced to return to the UK, hoping to pick up her career again.

At this point, Sharon was absolutely penniless and couldn’t afford a deposit on a flat, let alone to furnish one. This is how she ended up living in a friend’s garden shed for months this summer, with nothing but a bed each for her and her daughter and a portaloo. As the months went by, she was desperately worried they would still be there at Christmas and through a long, freezing winter.

Thankfully, Sharon’s luck changed in two crucial ways. Despite her terrible situation, she landed a new teaching job. And she reached out to us.

In her application for an emergency grant, Sharon told us, “We urgently need to move out of the shed, get our own place and start rebuilding our lives. My daughter is desperate for her own space and toys. I have no money for a deposit or household items. My salary will start in a few months and will help us get back on our feet but the set-up costs are impossible. I hope and pray you can help us.”

Thanks to our supporters, we could give Sharon £876 for a rental deposit on a flat and £500 to buy essential household items. Most of all, we gave her the chance of a hopeful new future with her daughter.

Sadly, Sharon’s story in just one of many we hear every day. In March this year, the Times Educational Supplement reported that the number of teachers on the brink of homelessness has doubled in five years. This chimes what we’ve seen here with requests for help with a housing-related crisis have more than doubled in the past four years.

Our emergency grants service is almost entirely funded by our supporters. Without their ongoing help, so many more education professionals could face the very real threat of homelessness this Christmas. Please donate this Christmas and help an education worker like Sharon save their home and their future.