Posted 16.02.2021

Up Your Street: Introduction

Let me introduce myself

Who’d have thought I’d be writing a blog?! But that’s how lockdown has inspired me.

My name is Lianne and I have been a Newydd tenant for a few years now. Although I have been fortunate until now with my career, I found myself in a position of redundancy a little while ago.

Redundancy has been a big challenge, but when you throw a pandemic in the mix, it really doesn’t help!

I wasn’t initially aware of all the opportunities that Newydd could provide me with, I simply thought they were there to take my money each week. Isn’t that how renting works?!

I soon realised how wrong I was after my encounter with Jackie Holly, a Community Regeneration Officer at Newydd, one dreary day in a café in Barry. It set me on my journey of motivation and achievement. It’s not been easy and there are times I’ve felt like giving up, but with support and encouragement, here I am today writing this blog. I hope that by sharing parts of my journey and stories that others have shared with me, it may inspire and support people who are experiencing some tough times.

Let’s talk about milk

When wellbeing becomes ‘not so wellbeing’ because you ran out of milk…

Like most people, over the years my wellbeing certainly has been tested. Things may be running smoothly, you’re holding it together, but then, with no warning your world falls apart…You ran out of milk…

So why did you run out of milk?

Maybe you forgot to add it to your shopping list? Maybe you’re just unable to afford it and now you need to face the reality that a foodbank is your only way to survive? You weigh up your options and decide that a foodbank simply isn’t for you. ‘It’s ok, I can do without milk. I’ll soon get used to black coffee. It’ll be fine.’

The next morning you drag yourself downstairs after a restless night’s sleep, full of worry and anxiety. You don’t see it coming, it creeps into your head like a worm burrowing deeper and deeper. ‘It’s ok’ you tell yourself, ‘today is a new day’. You open the cupboard to make breakfast, but cereals don’t taste great without milk.

And there it is, the point where your life spirals out of control. That’s right, it all goes downhill because you ran out of milk! The negative thoughts shout at you, the guilt consumes you and the sleepless nights really begin.

It’s hard to remain motivated when you feel your world is crumbling around you. The knock backs persist, and it gets harder to face your days.  Others may not have run out of milk, maybe they’ve had to say goodbye to a family member or friend, maybe some are struggling with lockdown or they’ve always battled mental health issues.

There are so many reasons as to why people may struggle with their wellbeing. Maybe you’ll never fix it but learning how to cope with it may ease the pressure.

It’s time to get out there and get some milk

Building a support network

Many people think that they must endure the tough times alone, after all, why would you want to put your worries onto someone else?

Many people don’t want to share their shame and embarrassment for fear that people may use it as an opportunity to judge and with COVID taking away our ease of interacting, it becomes the norm to make excuses to not reach out.

Having reached out to Jackie, I am now ‘in the loop’. She keeps me updated of job opportunities and courses and has even offered support with interviews. I am ploughing myself into the courses and now with extra qualifications under my belt, life during COVID is feeling much happier. I have purpose once again.

I was nominated for tenant of the week and given the opportunity to write this blog. I went out there, I got myself some milk and now my coffee tastes so much better!

If you find yourself needing some extra support during these tough times, please don’t be afraid to reach out. Newydd offer many schemes aimed at supporting tenants, not only during COVID, but at any time.

Below are is list of useful contacts. Please ask if you need help.

  • For money advice from Newydd click here.
  • For money advice relating to COVID, Newydd also have some useful guidance here.
  • If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then why not e-mail them at financial.inclusion@newydd.co.uk or CommunityRegeneration@newydd.co.uk 

There are many other organisations offering help and support during these tough times. I hope you find the following list useful.

  • Foodbanks – you will find information as to where to find your nearest foodbank.
  • If you have suffered a bereavement and finding it hard to come to terms with it, then contact www.bereavement.org or call them on 08006349494
  • The NHS also have advice of bereavement helpline run through an organisation called Sudden. You can contact them on 08002600400.
  • The NHS also provide a list of mental health charities that offer support from Alcoholics Anonymous to Victim Support to name only two of the many invaluable charities listed. Visit www.nhs.uk for their full a-z list.

Below is a photo of Lianne and her dog Poppy.

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