Steven's story: financial support to pay for bills and food for his children

School Intervention Manager Steven experienced domestic violence and financial problems in a very difficult year. Our grants team was able to support him to pay bills and provide food for his children, whilst he got back on track. Now he wants to encourage everyone to ask for help if they’re struggling.

Your stories / 2 mins read

I work as an Intervention Manager in alternative provision at a school in North Lincolnshire. Sometimes, it’s the best job in the world. Being able to see young people achieve things when they’ve been written off by everyone is amazing. I love how it keeps me young too!

Outside of work my marriage ended a while ago, and I began a new relationship with a woman who said she couldn’t have children. I have two sons and didn’t want any more children so this was fine with me! Not long afterwards though, my new partner told me she was pregnant, and that she would no longer be able to work. The bills and debt began to pile up along with the expense, pressure and stress of a new baby arriving. I was on the verge of taking time off work because of the stress. I like to do things by myself, I didn’t want to ask for help.

I spoke to my Deputy Head. She suggested I apply to Education Support for a grant to help cover my bills, and I was awarded £300.
The grant helped loads to get the finances back onto an even keel, but unfortunately my new partner became violent towards me and I had to ask her to leave, I had to protect my children. When she left she took any money I had been able to start to put aside again. I was back to square one and I didn’t know what to do.

I needed food to feed the boys and fuel to drive to work and the bills kept mounting up and I just couldn’t afford them. When there’s only one of you, even a decent wage doesn’t always cover things. I wrote to Education Support again and explained the position I was in. They told me they wanted to help and gave me a gift in kind for food for £350. It was just a massive relief.

It was just such a huge relief when the grant came through. It got me back on track. I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for the help I got.

Previously, I’d have stuck my head in the sand, and eventually sank. Now, through all of this, I’ve learnt to ask for help. I want my boys to see it’s alright not to be alright, and it’s ok to ask for help. The kids at school know what I’ve been through too - I think it’s important to talk about these things and to be honest that bad things can happen to anyone. It’s how you deal with things that matters.

It’s comforting and amazing to know that there is help out there from Education Support for people like me.

For any fellow teachers out there who are struggling, or anyone who thinks that because they’re in a ‘good job’ there’s no help out there for you, I’d say just do it, just get in touch with Education Support. Some people think that if you’re in a ‘good job’ you don’t need help, but your situation is your situation and it’s big for you. If you’re proud, don’t worry, it’s all private, and if you don’t ask, you don’t get. The help can make a huge difference.

Financial assistance
Financial support