A family at risk of losing their tenancy have seen their fortunes changed after receiving help from Plymouth Community Homes.
Housing officer Mark Bailey and assistant housing officer Kristina Browning have been working with mum-of-four Kristina Jardine-Irving and her family to improve their living conditions.
Kristina, of Honicknowle, was in danger of losing her home after reports from neighbours that one of her children was involved in anti-social behaviour.
She said: “Our tenancy might have been at risk. Neighbours had complained. Kids would play football outside and there was some anti-social behaviour.”
Kristina, mum to a daughter and three sons, was also struggling to keep on top of household chores and her budget.
Kristina added: “Mark and Kristina suggested I do a parenting course. I also went to a workshop on domestic violence as it was something I had experienced in a previous relationship. That was brilliant – the best thing I ever did.”
Kristina was also struggling to keep her house clean. Laundry began to pile up as the family had nowhere to put their clothing.
Kristina added: “Mark and Kristina have been very gentle and gave me ideas about the best way to do things.
“They really helped me – I would not have had the confidence before. PCH staff have also told me about all the different summer events coming up which will be good for the boys.”
Mark said: “We helped Kristina work out strategies to be more in control with the children and be more assertive. We also helped to find solutions for their storage problems.”
The housing officers also arranged for Kristina to attend an assertiveness course which improved her communications skills. She was then able to speak directly to the council about sorting out her bulky waste collection and shop around for the best energy deal. In addition, they carried out a benefits check to make sure she was getting everything she was entitled to.
Meanwhile, Kristina Browning contacted Matalan to see if they could help out.
Manager Paul Reed donated duvets, plates, washing baskets, hangers and laundry hampers.
He said: “I was happy to help out when Kristina contacted me. We like to try and get involved with the local community and stories like these can really hit home. We are happy to do what we can.”
The family is now hoping to get some beds from the Plymouth Furniture Re-use Project and Mark has managed to get some paint so the family can freshen up their home.
Kristina Browning added: “We just set the family some manageable targets. They will also be getting a new kitchen and bathroom soon.”