I wish to let you know how your service has helped me and my family get over what we thought we could not.

I was referred to your service by a friend who saw an article in the grapevine local magazine. I was given Chris Standen as my helper and he was brilliant.

We (I live with mum and dad as their carer) had big issues as I had lost my job through being unwell and we had no money except my mum and step dads pension. I have learning disabilities and find writing and reading hard, we had tried to get help but everybody was too busy or promised to call back or passed us on to another number so we didn’t have much faith in getting help. There was a loan on the house that we couldn’t pay so we were going to lose our home.

Chris took it all in his stride and listened to our story, he recognised that mum and dad were also very disabled and were very worried, the house was up for sale it was very desperate.

First he contacted the DWP and had me started on ESA benefit and spoke to DLA and got my claim restarted as I had not returned my pips form so that had stopped, everybody seemed to listen when he put the case for us it was so reassuring then he called the bank and got something called a payment holiday? We didn’t understand but we got 3 months that we didn’t have to pay the loan, he told us to stock the fridge instead. We all laughed at that as we had been using the out of date shelf. It was good to feel that Chris was on our side.

The next time he came he bought with him claim forms for mum and dad and filled them in with them to claim attendance allowance, he also got me to go to the drop in for veterans in Aberystwyth, it’s for ex forces and I really enjoy it. It gets me out once a fortnight instead of being stuck indoors and I have made new friends although I think they are sick of me talking about my floating truck.

The end result is I now have ESA, and DLA for another year, until pips starts, mum and dad both get the attendance allowance they so needed and we are able to afford the house so don’t have to move, he has even filled in all the forms and got the doctor to write a letter so we can have a blue badge.

Chris was calm and re-assuring all the time, he just gave us the facts, and gave us time to decide what we wanted and then sorted the problem so confidently we cannot thank you enough and hope Change Step goes from strength to strength it is a wonderful service.