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A home should be a place of Safety – a blog from TSO, Susan James


At the end of November 2019, I went to sign up a new customer. The customer was a lady in her 40s. She told me that she had been sofa surfing since leaving her home, and the area in which she had been living, due to domestic abuse. I was shocked to hear that she had had to spend some nights on the streets as the weather was awful – as if it’s not bad enough in the warmer weather.


We talked about her circumstances, and she told me that she just had a bag of things and that most of her belongings were with a friend and that this was not local to her new home. I was really concerned that this lady had only a bag full of clothes and no way of getting her belongings to the property.


I immediately helped her make an application for a Longleigh Grant. I felt very keenly that this lady needed our help, and as I returned to my own home, I felt so grateful for all I have. Charlotte and the team at Longleigh responded really quickly. A grant allowed her to get a “Man and Van” so she could move into her new home. This also helped with getting white goods for her kitchen.


I also spoke to the Christmas Elves (Cranfield Office) and arranged for this lady to be given one of the Christmas Boxes. I wanted her to know that people cared about her and to make her Christmas just a little bit brighter.


Today I carried out the Starter Tenancy Visit. I was delighted to see that the customer has turned an empty flat into a cosy home. She told me that she could not thank Stonewater enough and that, thanks to the Longleigh Grant, she had her home feeling cosy before Christmas and had a cooker to make a festive meal.


The Christmas Box was the “icing on the cake” and provided some lovely treats that she would not have been able to buy herself.


The customer was happy for me to share her story. She told me that she feels that 2020 is going to be her year as she now feels safe and secure and is hoping to get into employment soon. We may take our homes for granted, having a home is so important and having security is something everyone deserves.


This lady now feels safe, and I am happy that this story has had a happy ending.