Samantha Benton
Tuesday 19th April 2022 - 14:14

Finding light at the end of the tunnel

Samantha Benton has been a Phoenix resident for three years and shares how she took control of a challenging time by seeking advice through the Phoenix Financial Wellbeing service.  

My circumstances a few years ago were very different to how they are now. I was made homeless with my family after privately renting and we were moved to temporary accommodation after a long struggle to secure somewhere that was safe and clean.   

I wanted to achieve more and do more, but I didn’t know how. I had concerns about the support we would receive. Would we be better off if I continued as we were? Would I be able to feed my children if I worked more hours? Could I pay my rent and bills? It was a constant battle between wanting change and not knowing if it was the right thing to do.  

With the support of my MP, we were moved out of temporary accommodation and I was offered a home with Phoenix. It was when I went in to collect my keys that I first met Jackie from the Financial Wellbeing Team.  

I walked into The Green Man with a folder filled with letters and bills that I was struggling to manage. The support Jackie gave me changed everything. She explained the letters to me, gave me advice about budgeting and work, and even spoke on my behalf to organisations who were chasing me for money I didn’t owe.  

Fast forward until now, I’m progressing in my career and feel in control of my situation. This experience has taught me that I can, and that I do not need to doubt myself! It’s been a real confidence boost.  

I think it’s important to seek support if you’re struggling or even if you’re not and just want a second opinion. It’s a hard thing to talk about, but everyone has difficult times and there’s no shame in taking advice.  

I took that first step by accepting help and now I’m in control and doing the things that I didn’t think would be possible. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!