When Hasina* first came to Centre 56, she had recently moved to Liverpool with her older son, who attended our after school club.
Hasina was pregnant. When we closed our services in March 2020, we prioritised our families in need, using our catering budget to provide weekly food parcels to every family who needed them. Hasina was classed as a priority as she was heavily pregnant at the time and was also completely isolated, with no family or close friends close by.
Hasina gave birth during lockdown, when there were no midwife or health worker visits taking place. Our team kept in regular contact and during one call, Hasina told us she had no money for electricity and only one pound left on the meter. She was also desperately worried as she was not producing enough breast milk to feed her newborn. We found out that, although she had previously worked, she had been refused benefits and had used up all of her savings. She told us she was unable to pay her rent and her landlord had threatened her with eviction. She was terrified she would lose her home.
We provided gas and electricity vouchers, a food, toiletries nappies, baby milk and sanitary products. We contacted Hasina’s landlord and set up a repayment plan for the rent arrears. We were able to connect with our partners in the city, including her midwife, health visitor, the local Children’s Centre, Merseyside Law Centre, and Liverpool in Work to ensure the family had the support they needed to move forward. We provided phone credit and paid for taxis so Hasina could access services.
As lockdown eased, we sourced furniture. In partnership with M&Y Maintenance and Construction, we delivered items to Hasina’s home, along with clothes, toys and games.
Hasina was always looking for work but without childcare or friends/family to help, this proved impossible. So Hasina studies through Open University and has now started at a local FE college full-time. We have no doubt that Hasina has the skills and qualities to achieve whatever she wants to and will go on to make a positive difference in the world. *Name changed