Story from Anonymous

I’m a self-employed 57-year-old, who has been out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to my lack of eligibility, I have had no help from any government bodies during this time. This has taken a heavy toll on me personally and I’ve begun staying in bed for much of the day, as then I don’t have to even think about breakfast and lunch, often just having a single evening meal. My neighbours volunteer at the local foodbank and for this reason I don’t go as I wouldn’t want the added stress of embarrassment.

I’m increasingly worried about my future as my state pension is ten years away due to the retirement age being put back and I seem unable to get a job even though I’m often over-qualified. I have a feeling this is due to my age, which is disheartening as I’ve worked since I was 15. I’ve persevered through this, but the retirement age push back has really hurt me. I also wish there was a more subtle way I could access help, other than at a food bank.