The following cases illustrate the complex nature of certain cases we handle where the breadth of knowledge of our people across multiple benefits and allowances and involving many different agencies is so vital in guiding our disabled clients to their rightful destination.
We deal with crisis cases on a daily basis. Some of these are resolved simply and quickly, often by calling the DWP or other agencies, but many are not especially where the individual is frightened or incapable mentally of dealing proactively with their circumstances and their problems accumulate and the position they are in escalates into a real crisis for them. We signpost certain clients to the Salvation Army in Woodbridge which is a weekly food bank facility on Thursdays.
However, a number of our clients cannot access this because of lack of transport or, as is often the case, they are suffering from mental health issues. Some are in much greater need than the Salvation Army can provide for. For these we turn to the Families In Need (FIND), a food bank in Ipswich. This deals with the very short term emergency while we carry out a full benefit check, contact multiple agencies on the client’s behalf to restore a level of financial security from which they can then move forward.
In the case studies that follow the clients all suffered a variety of mental health issues making them extremely vulnerable and in need of help.
In their own words…
Here are some of the comments made by our clients in response to the service they received from us.
“I felt I was dealt with in an extremely sensitive and caring manner, which helped to put me at ease, so I thank you for that.”
“I feel D.A.S. is a service that people should be made aware of because the need is out there and the help is invaluable.”
“I was treated so well, as a human being, by the advisor that helped me to verbalise my concerns so much better than I thought I would be able to. I was very relieved to have this help and was very happy with the way I was guided through the whole process.”
“We are so lucky to have this facility. I get very stressed, but how quickly you make me feel at ease. Thank you, I would never be able to fill in these forms with out your wonderful help.”
“Excellent organisation – we have used them 3 times now. I don’t know how I would manage my son’s benefit application without DAS’s help – certainly I would have struggled.”
“Excellent service provided cheerful demeanor made a horrible time/Form much easier to understand and fill in. Thank you.”
“Very friendly and understanding they listened to all I had to say and treated me with respect.”
“Very calming as I was very anxious. The lady that helped me fill out a form was very helpful and caring. She took her time to try to make me at ease as I am very anxious. Nothing was too much for her and the offer of drinks was a great help. I never felt rushed and found the whole time I was here not as much of an ordeal as I was expecting. So therefore all my comment over the page are excellent, and I will definitely be recommending anybody, if asked, that DAS are very helpful and really worth a visit.”
“The D.A.S are an excellent service and I am totally grateful to everyone that helps out there for the help and support!”
“Thank you so much for your support, my mental health at the moment is shot to bits, so this really is a good boost for me.”
Testimonials from our Listening Service
“I always feel better when I think about you lot and that you’ll help me through whatever I need no matter how complicated.”
“Thank you so much, I could never do all this on my own.”
“Very moved that you even thought about us in this time, when you must be so busy.”
“If you hadn’t called me I don’t know what I would’ve done.”
“I didn’t honestly think you’d be open through Coronavirus.”
“You people are wonderful, you always have all the answers.”
“You are the first organisation to enquire after my welfare during this crisis.”
“Thank you, I am rubbish at asking for help so I do really appreciate you contacting me.”
“I’m so so glad we came to you for help with R’s PIP.”
“I really appreciate you thinking of us.”
“Thank you for checking in, much appreciated. You guys are always brilliant for me.”
“I am quite isolated a lot of the time. Thank you so much for thinking of me, it really means a lot.”
“I have enclosed a donation to help a little towards your wonderful service. I honestly don not know where I would be without you. The telephone calls I received in the lockdowns were most appreciated as it was lovely to have someone who had the time to talk and listen. Please keep up the good work”.
A funder’s kind words
“Trustees appreciated the honest nature of your application in communicating the issues DAS East Suffolk’s work addresses, and how the need to expand your crisis intervention work is growing significantly. Trustees were saddened by this urgent need, yet understood the impact external factors such as the rising cost of living and poor decisions from the DWP will have on those you work with – the case studies included in your application drew out the human cost of such factors. Trustees were quick to praise DAS East Suffolk’s trusted and empowering organisational ethos, and how your services are truly compassionate and non-judgemental, and provide vital safe spaces for especially vulnerable people.
Trustees also saw tremendous value in the significant lived experience that runs throughout the organisation and shapes your work. They were also encouraged to see how DAS East Suffolk has developed and strengthened its internal work and governance by recruiting new Trustees, embracing online and in-person service delivery, and in utilising social media to raise the organisation’s profile. In all, Trustees felt your work is vital now and will continue to be so in the coming years, and were keen to support your intricate, much needed work.”