Charity boss halfway through homelessness challenge - and has just 85p left

This Is Lancashire: Charity boss halfway through homelessness challenge - and has just 85p left Charity boss halfway through homelessness challenge - and has just 85p left

THE boss of a housing charity halfway through a challenge to live five days as a homeless young person said she’s struggling to make ends meet — and has just 85p to last her two days.

Maura Jackson, the director of Bolton Young Person’s Housing Scheme (BYPHS), decided to take up a challenge laid down by one of the charity’s beneficiaries to live five days in their shoes.

After being given just £40 to live on for the period — as if she was living on benefits — and moving into one of the charity’s temporary houses, Maura said the challenge is much tougher than expected.

Speaking on Saturday she said: “It’s been horrendous. The first day I moved in we hadn’t realised the gas meter had been capped — so there was no heating or hot water, and no central heating and no shower.

“I had to have a stand-up wash using 18 kettles of water.

“But the biggest thing is money. Once I’d paid my bills I only had £11 left for eight meals, and once I’d got food it left me with 85p, which if I was on the scheme would have to last me until next Wednesday.

“If I was in this position all the time I would be turning to a foodbank. There's no way people can afford to live on state benefits.

“And it’s a really lonely lifestyle. It’s so isolating and boring.

“Everything you think of doing — things like I normally do, like eat out or going to cinema — you can’t do because of a lack of money, and you don’t have the motivation when you’ve sat in all day.

“I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.”

Since 1991 BYPHS has helped thousands of 16 to 25 years find accommodation and live independently, and so avoid having to sleep rough.

Young people come to the service for a multitude of reasons – from family breakdowns, to addiction or poverty.

So far Maura has raised almost £700 from her challenge, smashing her £500 target, which will go towards an emergency fund within the scheme.

She said: “The support is fantastic because it was never really about sponsorship, I wanted to raise awareness about homelessness.

“It’s been an eye-opening experience.”

To sponsor Maura go to http://www.justgiving.com/Maura-Jackson/eurl.axd/3a165c01334d78429485343003a47231

Comments (33)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:23am Sat 22 Feb 14

Miltzy says...

She can go back to a better life after this challenge, unfortunately a lot of people can't. How would she feel in 6 months? How would she ever get a job if she couldn't bath or shower , where does her travel money come from? Makes it almost impossible to function really.
She can go back to a better life after this challenge, unfortunately a lot of people can't. How would she feel in 6 months? How would she ever get a job if she couldn't bath or shower , where does her travel money come from? Makes it almost impossible to function really. Miltzy

11:31am Sat 22 Feb 14

SleepingThunder says...

well done to the lady for takeing on the challange liveing life hand to mouth is far from a bed of roses as some TV shows try to make out.
It is an isolated existance of worry with no stability.
well done to the lady for takeing on the challange liveing life hand to mouth is far from a bed of roses as some TV shows try to make out. It is an isolated existance of worry with no stability. SleepingThunder

11:35am Sat 22 Feb 14

kiml27 says...

At least she is trying to see what it is like and as for all these negative comments if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything and 18 kettles would have been used to try to fill a bath no need in commenting on someones size as it is completely irrelevant but miltzy is right she is finding it hard now but imagine living day in and day out like this washing clothes in bath and trying to dry them with no heating etc and not enough money for food a lot of use couldn't even use the drop in centre they do as we were on the opposite side of Bolton too far to get to it !
At least she is trying to see what it is like and as for all these negative comments if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything and 18 kettles would have been used to try to fill a bath no need in commenting on someones size as it is completely irrelevant but miltzy is right she is finding it hard now but imagine living day in and day out like this washing clothes in bath and trying to dry them with no heating etc and not enough money for food a lot of use couldn't even use the drop in centre they do as we were on the opposite side of Bolton too far to get to it ! kiml27

12:42pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Tim Burr says...

It's a little misleading claiming to be homeless then moving into one charity’s temporary houses.

Homeless to me is on the streets, trying to find or make shelter for yourself. Having a temporary house or accommodation to move into is a luxury for some unfortunates.
It's a little misleading claiming to be homeless then moving into one charity’s temporary houses. Homeless to me is on the streets, trying to find or make shelter for yourself. Having a temporary house or accommodation to move into is a luxury for some unfortunates. Tim Burr

1:00pm Sat 22 Feb 14

MissPeg says...

Tim Burr wrote:
It's a little misleading claiming to be homeless then moving into one charity’s temporary houses.

Homeless to me is on the streets, trying to find or make shelter for yourself. Having a temporary house or accommodation to move into is a luxury for some unfortunates.
There are two kinds of homeless, those who live on the street and those who live in temporary accommodation. Kipping on your mates sofa for a few weeks because you have no home is also considered homeless.

I imagine the woman opted to live in temporary accommodation because that is what most of the homeless people she comes across in her charity do. As stated in the article, she was asked to live in the shoes of the people she works with, so she is doing just that.
[quote][p][bold]Tim Burr[/bold] wrote: It's a little misleading claiming to be homeless then moving into one charity’s temporary houses. Homeless to me is on the streets, trying to find or make shelter for yourself. Having a temporary house or accommodation to move into is a luxury for some unfortunates.[/p][/quote]There are two kinds of homeless, those who live on the street and those who live in temporary accommodation. Kipping on your mates sofa for a few weeks because you have no home is also considered homeless. I imagine the woman opted to live in temporary accommodation because that is what most of the homeless people she comes across in her charity do. As stated in the article, she was asked to live in the shoes of the people she works with, so she is doing just that. MissPeg

1:36pm Sat 22 Feb 14

boltonnut says...

Another bleeding heart story and yes we have a right to be negative about people who lead negative scrounging lives.One in a thousand is truly deserving some help but sadly this opens the flood gate and all the "dross" floods in. 85 p.left,how convenient just enough for another can of lager.
Another bleeding heart story and yes we have a right to be negative about people who lead negative scrounging lives.One in a thousand is truly deserving some help but sadly this opens the flood gate and all the "dross" floods in. 85 p.left,how convenient just enough for another can of lager. boltonnut

1:58pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Tim Burr says...

“I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.”

Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered".

It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11.
“I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.” Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered". It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11. Tim Burr

3:20pm Sat 22 Feb 14

hal pel says...

". . .the gas meter had been capped — so there was no heating or hot water, and no central heating and no shower. . .". What kind of hovels do BYPHS offer as temporary accommodation? I don't doubt that there's a private landlord laughing all the way to the bank while people freeze in houses not fit for human habitation. I'd rather been on the streets, and before anyone asks, yes I have endured a prolonged period of homelessness.
". . .the gas meter had been capped — so there was no heating or hot water, and no central heating and no shower. . .". What kind of hovels do BYPHS offer as temporary accommodation? I don't doubt that there's a private landlord laughing all the way to the bank while people freeze in houses not fit for human habitation. I'd rather been on the streets, and before anyone asks, yes I have endured a prolonged period of homelessness. hal pel

5:16pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Miltzy says...

Tim Burr wrote:
“I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.”

Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered".

It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11.
She's got a job, and a very well paid one I expect. £29 a week for bills is nothing. Gas, electric, water, tv licence, council tax, rent etc, etc. could you manage on that, and eat well? I doubt you even care enough to try, but come on here just for the fun of it. Have a go at people on benefits, it's easy. I wonder who has a go at you, there must be someone for you to be so bitter and twisted.
[quote][p][bold]Tim Burr[/bold] wrote: “I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.” Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered". It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11.[/p][/quote]She's got a job, and a very well paid one I expect. £29 a week for bills is nothing. Gas, electric, water, tv licence, council tax, rent etc, etc. could you manage on that, and eat well? I doubt you even care enough to try, but come on here just for the fun of it. Have a go at people on benefits, it's easy. I wonder who has a go at you, there must be someone for you to be so bitter and twisted. Miltzy

5:21pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Miltzy says...

boltonnut wrote:
Another bleeding heart story and yes we have a right to be negative about people who lead negative scrounging lives.One in a thousand is truly deserving some help but sadly this opens the flood gate and all the "dross" floods in. 85 p.left,how convenient just enough for another can of lager.
Why is it a bleeding heart story, she's conducting an experiment? Freedom of speech allows you spout drivel, but please enlighten me as to where you get your facts 1/1000? And define dross, because in my book it's people who are more wealthy than others but show no sympathy or empathy to those less fortunate. They are the dross!
[quote][p][bold]boltonnut[/bold] wrote: Another bleeding heart story and yes we have a right to be negative about people who lead negative scrounging lives.One in a thousand is truly deserving some help but sadly this opens the flood gate and all the "dross" floods in. 85 p.left,how convenient just enough for another can of lager.[/p][/quote]Why is it a bleeding heart story, she's conducting an experiment? Freedom of speech allows you spout drivel, but please enlighten me as to where you get your facts 1/1000? And define dross, because in my book it's people who are more wealthy than others but show no sympathy or empathy to those less fortunate. They are the dross! Miltzy

6:13pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Toybox says...

Miltzy wrote:
Tim Burr wrote:
“I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.”

Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered".

It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11.
She's got a job, and a very well paid one I expect. £29 a week for bills is nothing. Gas, electric, water, tv licence, council tax, rent etc, etc. could you manage on that, and eat well? I doubt you even care enough to try, but come on here just for the fun of it. Have a go at people on benefits, it's easy. I wonder who has a go at you, there must be someone for you to be so bitter and twisted.
Mitzy - another troll on the beer.
[quote][p][bold]Miltzy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tim Burr[/bold] wrote: “I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.” Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered". It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11.[/p][/quote]She's got a job, and a very well paid one I expect. £29 a week for bills is nothing. Gas, electric, water, tv licence, council tax, rent etc, etc. could you manage on that, and eat well? I doubt you even care enough to try, but come on here just for the fun of it. Have a go at people on benefits, it's easy. I wonder who has a go at you, there must be someone for you to be so bitter and twisted.[/p][/quote]Mitzy - another troll on the beer. Toybox

6:52pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Puffin-Billy says...

Well done Maura - I don't think I could manage it.
Well done Maura - I don't think I could manage it. Puffin-Billy

7:01pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Miltzy says...

Toybox wrote:
Miltzy wrote:
Tim Burr wrote:
“I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.”

Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered".

It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11.
She's got a job, and a very well paid one I expect. £29 a week for bills is nothing. Gas, electric, water, tv licence, council tax, rent etc, etc. could you manage on that, and eat well? I doubt you even care enough to try, but come on here just for the fun of it. Have a go at people on benefits, it's easy. I wonder who has a go at you, there must be someone for you to be so bitter and twisted.
Mitzy - another troll on the beer.
Quite the opposite actually. Just a human being that actually cares, oh and tea total.
[quote][p][bold]Toybox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Miltzy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tim Burr[/bold] wrote: “I’m ok today as I’m attending a charity bag pack but I’m dreading tomorrow, with only 85p and nowhere to go. It’s really hard.” Go knock on a few doors and look for a job is one solution, though that isn't going to happen because you "can't be bothered". It's a pity she doesn't mention what bills she had that swallowed £29 in 5 days, leaving only £11 for 8 meals, but it's ok, there's always the foodbank, listen to a little prayer and £11 in pocket to do whatever it is some do with £11.[/p][/quote]She's got a job, and a very well paid one I expect. £29 a week for bills is nothing. Gas, electric, water, tv licence, council tax, rent etc, etc. could you manage on that, and eat well? I doubt you even care enough to try, but come on here just for the fun of it. Have a go at people on benefits, it's easy. I wonder who has a go at you, there must be someone for you to be so bitter and twisted.[/p][/quote]Mitzy - another troll on the beer.[/p][/quote]Quite the opposite actually. Just a human being that actually cares, oh and tea total. Miltzy

8:49pm Sat 22 Feb 14

davidjb says...

wish i only paid 29£ a week in bills geez
wish i only paid 29£ a week in bills geez davidjb

10:58pm Sat 22 Feb 14

big barbara says...

Why don't all you negative people go get a life. I hope to god you or some one you know does not become homeless. Not all homeless people are scroungers BoltonNut you talk absolute SxxT. What about those who have been abused and have to be removed from home for their own safety. They end up in homeless hostels then often have to live in temp accommodation and have to learn to live independently. At 16 they are still in education and are not work ready so going knocking on doors for jobs is not the answer.
Have some compassion and think about what impact you may have on people when making derogitary remarks.
Why don't all you negative people go get a life. I hope to god you or some one you know does not become homeless. Not all homeless people are scroungers BoltonNut you talk absolute SxxT. What about those who have been abused and have to be removed from home for their own safety. They end up in homeless hostels then often have to live in temp accommodation and have to learn to live independently. At 16 they are still in education and are not work ready so going knocking on doors for jobs is not the answer. Have some compassion and think about what impact you may have on people when making derogitary remarks. big barbara

11:03pm Sat 22 Feb 14

gigglebox3 says...

well done maura! you are doing a good job! thats from me PJ! people need to know how things are at the moment and i havent seen any other directors going "back to the floor" to see how things are!
well done maura! you are doing a good job! thats from me PJ! people need to know how things are at the moment and i havent seen any other directors going "back to the floor" to see how things are! gigglebox3

12:30am Sun 23 Feb 14

Jewels74 says...

Well done Maura!!

Pay no heed to the negative comments. Behaviour breeds behaviour and like attracts like. These people are obviously engulfed by such negativity that they are incapable of displaying an ounce of compassion, let alone showing respect for those of us who choose to work in supported housing to help those less fortunate than ourselves. You are doing a wonderful job raising funds and much needed awareness for a very real and current cause.
Well done Maura!! Pay no heed to the negative comments. Behaviour breeds behaviour and like attracts like. These people are obviously engulfed by such negativity that they are incapable of displaying an ounce of compassion, let alone showing respect for those of us who choose to work in supported housing to help those less fortunate than ourselves. You are doing a wonderful job raising funds and much needed awareness for a very real and current cause. Jewels74

8:30am Sun 23 Feb 14

moneybags2014 says...

Thank you everyone for your opinions on my challenge. It is good to get people talking regardless of their view point. The whole idea of the exercise was to raise awareness about our service at BYPHS, not homelessness overall or rough sleeping although they are still huge national issues. We do provide emergency shelter and hostel accommodation and I chose not to use those for my experiment as I would be using a resource much needed by others. But for 5 days our flats can be sometimes out of action while we decorate them and supply new furniture and furnishings so I took advantage of one of those gaps so as not to affect any of our clients.
We consulted with young people about this prior to me starting and asked them what they thought and felt about it. They said, like some of you, it's not real, you're going home at the end of the week and so you could not experience the mental anguish we have about not feeling secure, not knowing where we would end up etc and the issues that have brought us to become homeless in the first place. Fair comment actually but not enough reason not to do it.
I have tried to where possible experience a tiny part of what they go through and if you read the blogs and updates and watch the film when its released you will see the whole story.
I don't feel I should justify my weight, salary or the fact I am not homeless. I am over weight, I am a size 22 I don't feel I need to hide that - people do have eyes. I could do with losing a few pounds (ha ha - stones!) but I'd never do it on benefits! Shopping for food on a budget would be easier if I had gone to the chippy every day as I would have had a hot meal and saved on electric. It's expensive to eat/cook healthily which I tried to do and you can see the proof if you check out our website. I used 18 kettles of water to fill the bath, not just have a stand up wash but if that's all you can see when you read the article then you have totally missed the point.

I have never claimed to be homeless. When I was homeless at 16 there were no housing schemes, but things were different then I was able to get a private rented bedsit from a kind landlord, and I dropped out of 6th form college and got a YTS job earning £30 a week because the Income Support allowance at that time was £18 a week. Things are much harder now for young people. Private rented is not an option for them and even if they could get their own accommodation they have to find their own removals, furniture, furnishings and set up utility accounts (which we all know is a nightmare). Some of our clients have been abused, exploited, rejected, abandoned and neglected. They are not equipped to deal with practicalities and responsibilities at 16. They are penalised for being young and for being homeless.
BYPHS offer flats which are safe, furnished with new items, have everything you need down to knives and forks and toilet rolls. They are there to make sure the young person has a fighting chance of being able to stay there and settle with our daily support. The gas was capped, so my flat just happened to have no gas for 2 days. I don't think this is unusual for people of all ages moving into the social rented sector and getting started. I don't know many other places where someone can move in and everything is set up for them to give them a head start.
I found the experience hard because it's over 20 years since I have had to live like that. The idea was for me to learn. and to share that learning. I have, and I will. The aim was to use this experience to develop new or improved services and I hope we do just that.
I have raised just over £700 on this challenge and yesterday my friends, colleagues and family members raised another £500 doing a charity bag pack at ASDA.(Manchester Road) It's been an incredible week. Every penny goes direct to our clients in crisis. We do not use funds like this from the public on our running costs. Thank you for everyone who has supported it. For those who believe I am too fat or too well paid to make a difference, I'm happy for you that your lives are so perfect you can judge others.
Thank you everyone for your opinions on my challenge. It is good to get people talking regardless of their view point. The whole idea of the exercise was to raise awareness about our service at BYPHS, not homelessness overall or rough sleeping although they are still huge national issues. We do provide emergency shelter and hostel accommodation and I chose not to use those for my experiment as I would be using a resource much needed by others. But for 5 days our flats can be sometimes out of action while we decorate them and supply new furniture and furnishings so I took advantage of one of those gaps so as not to affect any of our clients. We consulted with young people about this prior to me starting and asked them what they thought and felt about it. They said, like some of you, it's not real, you're going home at the end of the week and so you could not experience the mental anguish we have about not feeling secure, not knowing where we would end up etc and the issues that have brought us to become homeless in the first place. Fair comment actually but not enough reason not to do it. I have tried to where possible experience a tiny part of what they go through and if you read the blogs and updates and watch the film when its released you will see the whole story. I don't feel I should justify my weight, salary or the fact I am not homeless. I am over weight, I am a size 22 I don't feel I need to hide that - people do have eyes. I could do with losing a few pounds (ha ha - stones!) but I'd never do it on benefits! Shopping for food on a budget would be easier if I had gone to the chippy every day as I would have had a hot meal and saved on electric. It's expensive to eat/cook healthily which I tried to do and you can see the proof if you check out our website. I used 18 kettles of water to fill the bath, not just have a stand up wash but if that's all you can see when you read the article then you have totally missed the point. I have never claimed to be homeless. When I was homeless at 16 there were no housing schemes, but things were different then I was able to get a private rented bedsit from a kind landlord, and I dropped out of 6th form college and got a YTS job earning £30 a week because the Income Support allowance at that time was £18 a week. Things are much harder now for young people. Private rented is not an option for them and even if they could get their own accommodation they have to find their own removals, furniture, furnishings and set up utility accounts (which we all know is a nightmare). Some of our clients have been abused, exploited, rejected, abandoned and neglected. They are not equipped to deal with practicalities and responsibilities at 16. They are penalised for being young and for being homeless. BYPHS offer flats which are safe, furnished with new items, have everything you need down to knives and forks and toilet rolls. They are there to make sure the young person has a fighting chance of being able to stay there and settle with our daily support. The gas was capped, so my flat just happened to have no gas for 2 days. I don't think this is unusual for people of all ages moving into the social rented sector and getting started. I don't know many other places where someone can move in and everything is set up for them to give them a head start. I found the experience hard because it's over 20 years since I have had to live like that. The idea was for me to learn. and to share that learning. I have, and I will. The aim was to use this experience to develop new or improved services and I hope we do just that. I have raised just over £700 on this challenge and yesterday my friends, colleagues and family members raised another £500 doing a charity bag pack at ASDA.(Manchester Road) It's been an incredible week. Every penny goes direct to our clients in crisis. We do not use funds like this from the public on our running costs. Thank you for everyone who has supported it. For those who believe I am too fat or too well paid to make a difference, I'm happy for you that your lives are so perfect you can judge others. moneybags2014

11:20am Sun 23 Feb 14

SleepingThunder says...

Well said & well done.
Well said & well done. SleepingThunder

12:24pm Sun 23 Feb 14

big barbara says...

Bloody well said moneybags ditto ditto
Bloody well said moneybags ditto ditto big barbara

5:24pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Tim Burr says...

Spot the irony. Charity boss - user name, moneybags2014.

Maura, what's the breakdown of your £29.00 spend on bills in 5 days?

And for all my fans, I think BYPHS try to do a good job with the resources available.
Spot the irony. Charity boss - user name, moneybags2014. Maura, what's the breakdown of your £29.00 spend on bills in 5 days? And for all my fans, I think BYPHS try to do a good job with the resources available. Tim Burr

5:57pm Sun 23 Feb 14

nursemaggie says...

Well said Moneybags.

It is time the world woke up to what it means to be homeless. At the moment I am in between becoming homeless and moving to Bolton where I can afford the rent.

I am not a young person I am a pensioner. My circumstances are a result of hundreds of little circumstances that happened to me over my whole life most of which are now illegal and could not happen to anyone who will retire in 20 years time. People with only half the state pension will not happen in the future, once the circumstances I experienced work out of the system.

The biggest thing that places me in this situation is a late baby at the age of 48. That means he is still at home and dependant. From my side the law says he is not my responsibility I am only allowed enough for myself which is not much. My son is not allowed anything for his keep as he lives at home. See that is how young people end up on the streets because if I stay where I am having to top up my rent every month by £250 and my savings are going down fast.

I cannot get a little terrace house in my area they do not exist. The cheapest I can get is a 2nd floor attic only fit for a healthy person I have am disabled and have a terminal illness.

So I researched the country looking at rents, other costs and somewhere pleasant to live. Congratulations Bolton you won. Wiki says you are the friendliest town in the UK. We visited to house hunt last week and I agree with Wiki or who ever added that phrase because I have proved it.

The huge cuts in housing benefit are causing a lot of people to end up in my position. The government will not wake up to it until the prosperous south ceases to have its bins emptied, streets cleaned, public toilets cleaned and all the million and one low paid workers who make life bearable have moved to the cheaper north and of course stopped working.

Not many people have the guts to do what I am doing so be prepared to have 20% homelessness.

I worry what will happen to my son if he does not get a job before I die.
I am pleased to learn there is still a homeless charity for the young in Bolton. They are closing all round me here in the south because of government cuts. Local Authority grants have been cut to zero.
Well said Moneybags. It is time the world woke up to what it means to be homeless. At the moment I am in between becoming homeless and moving to Bolton where I can afford the rent. I am not a young person I am a pensioner. My circumstances are a result of hundreds of little circumstances that happened to me over my whole life most of which are now illegal and could not happen to anyone who will retire in 20 years time. People with only half the state pension will not happen in the future, once the circumstances I experienced work out of the system. The biggest thing that places me in this situation is a late baby at the age of 48. That means he is still at home and dependant. From my side the law says he is not my responsibility I am only allowed enough for myself which is not much. My son is not allowed anything for his keep as he lives at home. See that is how young people end up on the streets because if I stay where I am having to top up my rent every month by £250 and my savings are going down fast. I cannot get a little terrace house in my area they do not exist. The cheapest I can get is a 2nd floor attic only fit for a healthy person I have am disabled and have a terminal illness. So I researched the country looking at rents, other costs and somewhere pleasant to live. Congratulations Bolton you won. Wiki says you are the friendliest town in the UK. We visited to house hunt last week and I agree with Wiki or who ever added that phrase because I have proved it. The huge cuts in housing benefit are causing a lot of people to end up in my position. The government will not wake up to it until the prosperous south ceases to have its bins emptied, streets cleaned, public toilets cleaned and all the million and one low paid workers who make life bearable have moved to the cheaper north and of course stopped working. Not many people have the guts to do what I am doing so be prepared to have 20% homelessness. I worry what will happen to my son if he does not get a job before I die. I am pleased to learn there is still a homeless charity for the young in Bolton. They are closing all round me here in the south because of government cuts. Local Authority grants have been cut to zero. nursemaggie

6:08pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Tim Burr says...

Nurse Maggie Bolton - wasn't she the Polish nurse who was in Heartbeat?
The story above could be straight out of a badly written script - none of it adds up.
Nurse Maggie Bolton - wasn't she the Polish nurse who was in Heartbeat? The story above could be straight out of a badly written script - none of it adds up. Tim Burr

7:01pm Sun 23 Feb 14

nursemaggie says...

1. I have only ever been in Bolton once in my life on 13th and 14th of this month.

2. I was a real nurse when I was working. I have never acted in my life.

3. There was never to my recollection been a Polish nurse in Heartbeat. She was not Polish.

4. Nursemaggie has been my username on the internet for nearly 10 years.

4. I am beginning to think Bolton is quite the opposite to what Wiki says it is.

Tim Burr you are the rudest, most cynical, and bigoted person I have ever come across in my life.

For your information it was perfectly legal to turn down women for jobs because they had children thus I spent 20 years doing very part time jobs for which my employers did not pay my national insurance thus I have only half a State Pension. It was not my choice. I do have a small occupational pension which takes my income up to just the level I miss out on a top up to my pension. It would have been to my advantage to stay unemployed until retirement. I would get more now.

I want to say to you I hope you lose your job. Can't get another and end up homeless and then get as sick as me but I would not wish that on my worse enemy. If you can't say anything constructive get a life and stop insulting every human being you can find to insult.
1. I have only ever been in Bolton once in my life on 13th and 14th of this month. 2. I was a real nurse when I was working. I have never acted in my life. 3. There was never to my recollection been a Polish nurse in Heartbeat. She was not Polish. 4. Nursemaggie has been my username on the internet for nearly 10 years. 4. I am beginning to think Bolton is quite the opposite to what Wiki says it is. Tim Burr you are the rudest, most cynical, and bigoted person I have ever come across in my life. For your information it was perfectly legal to turn down women for jobs because they had children thus I spent 20 years doing very part time jobs for which my employers did not pay my national insurance thus I have only half a State Pension. It was not my choice. I do have a small occupational pension which takes my income up to just the level I miss out on a top up to my pension. It would have been to my advantage to stay unemployed until retirement. I would get more now. I want to say to you I hope you lose your job. Can't get another and end up homeless and then get as sick as me but I would not wish that on my worse enemy. If you can't say anything constructive get a life and stop insulting every human being you can find to insult. nursemaggie

8:33pm Sun 23 Feb 14

moneybags2014 says...

My £29 bills for this exercise comprised of
£10 gas
£10 electric
£5 tv licence
£4 water

Obv in addition to this there are housing costs and council tax for those over 18.

Moneybags was a deliberate choice since some on here assumed that to be the case. I wish.
My £29 bills for this exercise comprised of £10 gas £10 electric £5 tv licence £4 water Obv in addition to this there are housing costs and council tax for those over 18. Moneybags was a deliberate choice since some on here assumed that to be the case. I wish. moneybags2014

9:04pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Tim Burr says...

moneybags2014 wrote:
My £29 bills for this exercise comprised of
£10 gas
£10 electric
£5 tv licence
£4 water

Obv in addition to this there are housing costs and council tax for those over 18.

Moneybags was a deliberate choice since some on here assumed that to be the case. I wish.
I thought it was quite a clever choice of name, the irony statement went over a few heads.
The bills you mention and thanks for the breakdown - are grossly exaggerated pro rata, especially your TV licence. Maybe, if you exaggerated them more - you may just stop some becoming in need of your services?

Anybody wanting to know more about Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme should look up their very nice website at:-
http://www.byphs.org
.uk/
[quote][p][bold]moneybags2014[/bold] wrote: My £29 bills for this exercise comprised of £10 gas £10 electric £5 tv licence £4 water Obv in addition to this there are housing costs and council tax for those over 18. Moneybags was a deliberate choice since some on here assumed that to be the case. I wish.[/p][/quote]I thought it was quite a clever choice of name, the irony statement went over a few heads. The bills you mention and thanks for the breakdown - are grossly exaggerated pro rata, especially your TV licence. Maybe, if you exaggerated them more - you may just stop some becoming in need of your services? Anybody wanting to know more about Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme should look up their very nice website at:- http://www.byphs.org .uk/ Tim Burr

9:04pm Sun 23 Feb 14

bumblebeefeet says...

moneybags2014 wrote:
Thank you everyone for your opinions on my challenge. It is good to get people talking regardless of their view point. The whole idea of the exercise was to raise awareness about our service at BYPHS, not homelessness overall or rough sleeping although they are still huge national issues. We do provide emergency shelter and hostel accommodation and I chose not to use those for my experiment as I would be using a resource much needed by others. But for 5 days our flats can be sometimes out of action while we decorate them and supply new furniture and furnishings so I took advantage of one of those gaps so as not to affect any of our clients.
We consulted with young people about this prior to me starting and asked them what they thought and felt about it. They said, like some of you, it's not real, you're going home at the end of the week and so you could not experience the mental anguish we have about not feeling secure, not knowing where we would end up etc and the issues that have brought us to become homeless in the first place. Fair comment actually but not enough reason not to do it.
I have tried to where possible experience a tiny part of what they go through and if you read the blogs and updates and watch the film when its released you will see the whole story.
I don't feel I should justify my weight, salary or the fact I am not homeless. I am over weight, I am a size 22 I don't feel I need to hide that - people do have eyes. I could do with losing a few pounds (ha ha - stones!) but I'd never do it on benefits! Shopping for food on a budget would be easier if I had gone to the chippy every day as I would have had a hot meal and saved on electric. It's expensive to eat/cook healthily which I tried to do and you can see the proof if you check out our website. I used 18 kettles of water to fill the bath, not just have a stand up wash but if that's all you can see when you read the article then you have totally missed the point.

I have never claimed to be homeless. When I was homeless at 16 there were no housing schemes, but things were different then I was able to get a private rented bedsit from a kind landlord, and I dropped out of 6th form college and got a YTS job earning £30 a week because the Income Support allowance at that time was £18 a week. Things are much harder now for young people. Private rented is not an option for them and even if they could get their own accommodation they have to find their own removals, furniture, furnishings and set up utility accounts (which we all know is a nightmare). Some of our clients have been abused, exploited, rejected, abandoned and neglected. They are not equipped to deal with practicalities and responsibilities at 16. They are penalised for being young and for being homeless.
BYPHS offer flats which are safe, furnished with new items, have everything you need down to knives and forks and toilet rolls. They are there to make sure the young person has a fighting chance of being able to stay there and settle with our daily support. The gas was capped, so my flat just happened to have no gas for 2 days. I don't think this is unusual for people of all ages moving into the social rented sector and getting started. I don't know many other places where someone can move in and everything is set up for them to give them a head start.
I found the experience hard because it's over 20 years since I have had to live like that. The idea was for me to learn. and to share that learning. I have, and I will. The aim was to use this experience to develop new or improved services and I hope we do just that.
I have raised just over £700 on this challenge and yesterday my friends, colleagues and family members raised another £500 doing a charity bag pack at ASDA.(Manchester Road) It's been an incredible week. Every penny goes direct to our clients in crisis. We do not use funds like this from the public on our running costs. Thank you for everyone who has supported it. For those who believe I am too fat or too well paid to make a difference, I'm happy for you that your lives are so perfect you can judge others.
I haven't read all of this comment but if you really think you can't cook a healthy cheap meal (cheaper than the chippy!) then thats probably why you are a size 22. I'm sorry to be harsh but its utter rubbish..!
[quote][p][bold]moneybags2014[/bold] wrote: Thank you everyone for your opinions on my challenge. It is good to get people talking regardless of their view point. The whole idea of the exercise was to raise awareness about our service at BYPHS, not homelessness overall or rough sleeping although they are still huge national issues. We do provide emergency shelter and hostel accommodation and I chose not to use those for my experiment as I would be using a resource much needed by others. But for 5 days our flats can be sometimes out of action while we decorate them and supply new furniture and furnishings so I took advantage of one of those gaps so as not to affect any of our clients. We consulted with young people about this prior to me starting and asked them what they thought and felt about it. They said, like some of you, it's not real, you're going home at the end of the week and so you could not experience the mental anguish we have about not feeling secure, not knowing where we would end up etc and the issues that have brought us to become homeless in the first place. Fair comment actually but not enough reason not to do it. I have tried to where possible experience a tiny part of what they go through and if you read the blogs and updates and watch the film when its released you will see the whole story. I don't feel I should justify my weight, salary or the fact I am not homeless. I am over weight, I am a size 22 I don't feel I need to hide that - people do have eyes. I could do with losing a few pounds (ha ha - stones!) but I'd never do it on benefits! Shopping for food on a budget would be easier if I had gone to the chippy every day as I would have had a hot meal and saved on electric. It's expensive to eat/cook healthily which I tried to do and you can see the proof if you check out our website. I used 18 kettles of water to fill the bath, not just have a stand up wash but if that's all you can see when you read the article then you have totally missed the point. I have never claimed to be homeless. When I was homeless at 16 there were no housing schemes, but things were different then I was able to get a private rented bedsit from a kind landlord, and I dropped out of 6th form college and got a YTS job earning £30 a week because the Income Support allowance at that time was £18 a week. Things are much harder now for young people. Private rented is not an option for them and even if they could get their own accommodation they have to find their own removals, furniture, furnishings and set up utility accounts (which we all know is a nightmare). Some of our clients have been abused, exploited, rejected, abandoned and neglected. They are not equipped to deal with practicalities and responsibilities at 16. They are penalised for being young and for being homeless. BYPHS offer flats which are safe, furnished with new items, have everything you need down to knives and forks and toilet rolls. They are there to make sure the young person has a fighting chance of being able to stay there and settle with our daily support. The gas was capped, so my flat just happened to have no gas for 2 days. I don't think this is unusual for people of all ages moving into the social rented sector and getting started. I don't know many other places where someone can move in and everything is set up for them to give them a head start. I found the experience hard because it's over 20 years since I have had to live like that. The idea was for me to learn. and to share that learning. I have, and I will. The aim was to use this experience to develop new or improved services and I hope we do just that. I have raised just over £700 on this challenge and yesterday my friends, colleagues and family members raised another £500 doing a charity bag pack at ASDA.(Manchester Road) It's been an incredible week. Every penny goes direct to our clients in crisis. We do not use funds like this from the public on our running costs. Thank you for everyone who has supported it. For those who believe I am too fat or too well paid to make a difference, I'm happy for you that your lives are so perfect you can judge others.[/p][/quote]I haven't read all of this comment but if you really think you can't cook a healthy cheap meal (cheaper than the chippy!) then thats probably why you are a size 22. I'm sorry to be harsh but its utter rubbish..! bumblebeefeet

9:34pm Sun 23 Feb 14

moneybags2014 says...

I can cook a meal for a lot less than the price of the chippy because I have skills and experience in doing so that our clients don't have yet.
I know why I'm a size 22. It's no one else's concern but my own and does not affect the job I'm trying to do.

TV licence fees are £5.60 a week for the first six months for anyone wanting to pay by instalments; after which it is halved. So it's not exaggerated. My gas allowance was £10 and it used £4 in a 24 hour period as again those using pre payments meters are heavily charged.

Thanks for the continued interest.
I can cook a meal for a lot less than the price of the chippy because I have skills and experience in doing so that our clients don't have yet. I know why I'm a size 22. It's no one else's concern but my own and does not affect the job I'm trying to do. TV licence fees are £5.60 a week for the first six months for anyone wanting to pay by instalments; after which it is halved. So it's not exaggerated. My gas allowance was £10 and it used £4 in a 24 hour period as again those using pre payments meters are heavily charged. Thanks for the continued interest. moneybags2014

9:48pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Jewels74 says...

Bumblebee Feet If that's your only response to the whole of money bags response then you need to seriously have a word with yourself. You sound ridiculous!

For your information I've worked in a homeless hostel and it's far more cost effective to make carb laden meals like pasta, rice and potatoes and the only option for meat is of the tinned, frozen (fairly unhealthy) variety. I

I currently support people to maintain their own tenancy and avoid homelessness. Part of my support includes budgeting skills and Ican assure you when it comes to shopping on a tight budget it's very difficult to incorporate fresh, fruit, fresh veg, fresh chcken and fish .
Bumblebee Feet If that's your only response to the whole of money bags response then you need to seriously have a word with yourself. You sound ridiculous! For your information I've worked in a homeless hostel and it's far more cost effective to make carb laden meals like pasta, rice and potatoes and the only option for meat is of the tinned, frozen (fairly unhealthy) variety. I I currently support people to maintain their own tenancy and avoid homelessness. Part of my support includes budgeting skills and Ican assure you when it comes to shopping on a tight budget it's very difficult to incorporate fresh, fruit, fresh veg, fresh chcken and fish . Jewels74

10:16pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Tim Burr says...

moneybags2014 wrote:
I can cook a meal for a lot less than the price of the chippy because I have skills and experience in doing so that our clients don't have yet.
I know why I'm a size 22. It's no one else's concern but my own and does not affect the job I'm trying to do.

TV licence fees are £5.60 a week for the first six months for anyone wanting to pay by instalments; after which it is halved. So it's not exaggerated. My gas allowance was £10 and it used £4 in a 24 hour period as again those using pre payments meters are heavily charged.

Thanks for the continued interest.
I'm pleased to see you identify the need for eduction in respect of budgeting and culinary needs. Pity we didn't get this out of the way earlier!
I had to look up the reason why a TV licence was £5.60 as initially the figure did not add up. To clarify, this is for your first TV licence if somebody is spreading the cost..

I thought also pre payment meter (obviously wrongly) tariffs had been adjusted to be in line with quarterly DD payments. If not our esteemed M.P's are more useless than I thought. It's why we have fuel poverty?
[quote][p][bold]moneybags2014[/bold] wrote: I can cook a meal for a lot less than the price of the chippy because I have skills and experience in doing so that our clients don't have yet. I know why I'm a size 22. It's no one else's concern but my own and does not affect the job I'm trying to do. TV licence fees are £5.60 a week for the first six months for anyone wanting to pay by instalments; after which it is halved. So it's not exaggerated. My gas allowance was £10 and it used £4 in a 24 hour period as again those using pre payments meters are heavily charged. Thanks for the continued interest.[/p][/quote]I'm pleased to see you identify the need for eduction in respect of budgeting and culinary needs. Pity we didn't get this out of the way earlier! I had to look up the reason why a TV licence was £5.60 as initially the figure did not add up. To clarify, this is for your first TV licence if somebody is spreading the cost.. I thought also pre payment meter (obviously wrongly) tariffs had been adjusted to be in line with quarterly DD payments. If not our esteemed M.P's are more useless than I thought. It's why we have fuel poverty? Tim Burr

7:18pm Mon 24 Feb 14

bumblebeefeet says...

Jewels74 wrote:
Bumblebee Feet If that's your only response to the whole of money bags response then you need to seriously have a word with yourself. You sound ridiculous!

For your information I've worked in a homeless hostel and it's far more cost effective to make carb laden meals like pasta, rice and potatoes and the only option for meat is of the tinned, frozen (fairly unhealthy) variety. I

I currently support people to maintain their own tenancy and avoid homelessness. Part of my support includes budgeting skills and Ican assure you when it comes to shopping on a tight budget it's very difficult to incorporate fresh, fruit, fresh veg, fresh chcken and fish .
Of course its more cost effective to make pasta/rice but you can combine them with healthy things - veg, fruit and meat don't have to be fresh to count as one of your five a day, and they are a **** site healthier than chippy teas. And for YOUR information I am a cook, I know how to budget and feed plenty of people on low money, its perfectly do-able, and easy enough with basic cooking skills. People need education not people brushing them off saying "oh just eat a chippy tea its cheaper!"
[quote][p][bold]Jewels74[/bold] wrote: Bumblebee Feet If that's your only response to the whole of money bags response then you need to seriously have a word with yourself. You sound ridiculous! For your information I've worked in a homeless hostel and it's far more cost effective to make carb laden meals like pasta, rice and potatoes and the only option for meat is of the tinned, frozen (fairly unhealthy) variety. I I currently support people to maintain their own tenancy and avoid homelessness. Part of my support includes budgeting skills and Ican assure you when it comes to shopping on a tight budget it's very difficult to incorporate fresh, fruit, fresh veg, fresh chcken and fish .[/p][/quote]Of course its more cost effective to make pasta/rice but you can combine them with healthy things - veg, fruit and meat don't have to be fresh to count as one of your five a day, and they are a **** site healthier than chippy teas. And for YOUR information I am a cook, I know how to budget and feed plenty of people on low money, its perfectly do-able, and easy enough with basic cooking skills. People need education not people brushing them off saying "oh just eat a chippy tea its cheaper!" bumblebeefeet

8:22pm Wed 26 Feb 14

moneybags2014 says...

You are making massive assumptions here that a 16/17 year old who has come through the care of the welfare state, been brought up by parents who are offenders, drug users or severely mentally ill, or who have a learning disability, or who left them to move in with a new partner or who kicked them out because benefits stopped coming in for them and they were no longer profitable, or who had physically, sexually or emotionally abused them, or forced them into an arranged marriage abroad, Or they have parents who exploited them sending them out shoplifting or touted them through prostitution - have the wherewithal to a) plan ahead with anything, b) care about food or money and c) have skills to cook , clean , shop and budget. They have sometimes been rough sleeping, avoiding being groomed or beaten up. They are still learning. When they are older they can make more informed choices. Many of the young people we work with have excellent independent living skills and we support a couple of chefs; but with between £4-£10 week left for food, it's hard.

We are fully aware that healthy eating is important and advise young people accordingly, go shopping with them, plan meals etc. but you cannot undo 16/17/18 years of learned behaviour over night.
You started your comment with "I haven't read all of this...." Perhaps you should have done? It might have given you some context.
Some of the most vulnerable in our scheme have no money and eat what is offered through the food bank who do try and offer fresh fruit and veg.
Whilst I was on the scheme trying it out I did not in fact go to the chippy. I just said I can see why they opt for cheap hot fast food ?
You are making massive assumptions here that a 16/17 year old who has come through the care of the welfare state, been brought up by parents who are offenders, drug users or severely mentally ill, or who have a learning disability, or who left them to move in with a new partner or who kicked them out because benefits stopped coming in for them and they were no longer profitable, or who had physically, sexually or emotionally abused them, or forced them into an arranged marriage abroad, Or they have parents who exploited them sending them out shoplifting or touted them through prostitution - have the wherewithal to a) plan ahead with anything, b) care about food or money and c) have skills to cook , clean , shop and budget. They have sometimes been rough sleeping, avoiding being groomed or beaten up. They are still learning. When they are older they can make more informed choices. Many of the young people we work with have excellent independent living skills and we support a couple of chefs; but with between £4-£10 week left for food, it's hard. We are fully aware that healthy eating is important and advise young people accordingly, go shopping with them, plan meals etc. but you cannot undo 16/17/18 years of learned behaviour over night. You started your comment with "I haven't read all of this...." Perhaps you should have done? It might have given you some context. Some of the most vulnerable in our scheme have no money and eat what is offered through the food bank who do try and offer fresh fruit and veg. Whilst I was on the scheme trying it out I did not in fact go to the chippy. I just said I can see why they opt for cheap hot fast food ? moneybags2014

8:30pm Wed 26 Feb 14

moneybags2014 says...

A few weeks ago we took a group of 10 young people to Olympus chippy as a treat. 6 of them chose jacket potatoes with various filings. One of those young girls has lost over a stone watching her calories and money since Christmas. We also regularly take groups to the gym and they are supported weekly by a personal trainer. In the hostels we do group work around healthy meals and the young people are taught how to cook. But this is after we've made sure they are safe, have access the medical care, have some income and somewhere to live.
In between we still work with the on emotional and practical issues. It takes time and maturity, neither of which they have been given the luxury of.
A few weeks ago we took a group of 10 young people to Olympus chippy as a treat. 6 of them chose jacket potatoes with various filings. One of those young girls has lost over a stone watching her calories and money since Christmas. We also regularly take groups to the gym and they are supported weekly by a personal trainer. In the hostels we do group work around healthy meals and the young people are taught how to cook. But this is after we've made sure they are safe, have access the medical care, have some income and somewhere to live. In between we still work with the on emotional and practical issues. It takes time and maturity, neither of which they have been given the luxury of. moneybags2014

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree