My name is Joanne and I find myself to be in an incredibly stressful and desperate financial situation. Before I go into any detail as to why, would you mind reading the link I have added. Thank you. This will better explain why it's come to this and why my desperation has led me here. I have also added another link at the end of my campaign details.
Thank you for reading the link.
It has to be said, that I'm a private person, and so talking about myself doesn't come very easily, but of course I am going to lay down the basics, and they are these….
I am 61 years old, I have worked extremely hard all my life, starting my first Saturday job at a local grocer's shop at the age of 13.
I brought up my three children on my own after eleven years of marriage. I worked while my children were at school, then as they left school I worked lots of different hours. I've had all sorts of different jobs, anything that would feed my children and pay the bills. I've done office work, Drive Hire Manager, artwork in differing forms, telephone sales, worked for a charity, receptionist, dinner lady, cleaner at my children's school, and for the past 22 years or so I've worked with people with learning disabilities, this was a wonderful job, I miss this. I felt as though I was working for a reason, and not just to pay the bills. For about ten of those years I also had a second job in the healthcare industry, this was looking after the elderly in their own homes, working in hospitals, and care facilities working with dementia and Alzheimer patients, I also loved this work, it meant something.
I decided at one point to buy my own house, and at the time, I was fortunate enough to be living in a charming little Victorian house that had been bought by the local council, and as this was a council house, and I'd been living there for some time, I was able to buy it at a discount, even so, it took two jobs and working ridiculous hours to be able to afford the mortgage on my own, but I'm so glad I did!
…but there comes a time as you get older when things start to catch up with you, as they did for me, I was exhausted, I was going through the menopause which wasn't pleasant! It still isn't! I have a bit of arthritis and was aching more than usual, and my bad back from an accident more than twenty years before was getting much worse… so I thought 'that's it, I can't physically work like this any more', I was then 56.
My daughter had moved to Portugal two years before and I was contemplating selling my house in the UK, retiring four years early and moving to Portugal too. It was scary, very scary, especially as I'm on my own; but there is no time like the present, that's actually all there is, and clocks have a habit of moving rather quickly the older you get! I had also been worrying about how on earth I was going to afford to live solely on a state pension in the UK, being one of the lowest state pensions in Europe, and knowing how expensive the cost of living was there. So that was it, I had to be brave. I knew I would receive my state pension at 60 and had worked out that I could comfortably live on this as the cost of living in Portugal is significantly lower, also, I'd have no mortgage to worry about anymore, which was a huge chunk of my outgoings. So I did it, I sold my house in the UK and bought a cheap little place, in the sticks, in Portugal, I bought as cheap as I could so I would have enough left over to live on until I got my pension.
Then one day I'd heard that the state pension was being delayed!? I didn't actually believe it, I thought this had to be illegal! so I phoned the pensions office in the UK to see if what was being proposed was indeed true, the guy I spoke with confirmed my nightmarish thoughts, he also told me that I would have to wait until I was 66 before I received my pension. It turns out that this corrupt (it's corrupt as far as I'm concerned) legislation, had been on the cards for years! and I knew nothing about it, nor, as it turns out, did thousands of other people! I am so incredibly furious… the British Government have thrown me into poverty, and are causing me so much stress and anxiety. You need at least half a working lifetime to prepare for a huge financial change such as this! I have paid into the 'system' all my adult life, and this is what I, and half a million other women are presented with. Well it's life changing for me, being on my own with no other back up. I thought for once in my life I could relax and not have to worry about money; how wrong could I have possibly been! We are just numbers on a spreadsheet, brushed aside collateral damage, and I for one have been greatly affected by their blatant disregard of the older population of Britain.
It was more than three years ago when I spoke with the guy in the pensions office, and I've been looking for work since that time, I haven't been able to find anything, except one job some time ago, but this wasn't permanent. The language barrier is a big factor in not being able to find work here, but I'm trying very hard to learn the language, I'm getting there, but it's a very difficult language to learn. Secondly I'm 61, it's not easy to start over and find work at this age, also, there are not a lot of job opportunities here, save probably for a much younger generation. So basically I need more time to search for work as I now have no money left. Literally nothing.
The sum I have arrived at, with much consideration, and have put on here is to give me a couple of months more to find work, assuming/hoping I get work within a couple of months. If I don't find work in that time then I don't know what will happen, except to say, that I will be in big trouble! Family members have helped me a little recently but they can't afford much and they've done all they can bless them, and I shall be forever grateful for their help!
I'm now utterly desperate; I don't wish to sound or be melodramatic, but desperation is the only word that covers it really, and I don't know what else to do.
Before I go, I'd like to add this paragraph regarding the link I shared above... There is only one thing I don't agree with in the link, and that is, that I don't agree the pension age should have even been raised. The reason they give is that our population is getting older, well that may be the case, or not, but regardless of that statement, that doesn't mean that we should have to work until we drop. I am 61, I feel much younger than that in some ways, but you just don't have the stamina you had when you were younger, it becomes very apparent! Surely, after working so hard, paying copious amounts of tax and national insurance, for years on end, that we should then have, at the end of it all, a credible amount of time to rest, and enjoy the rest of our lives away from the grindstone. Surely we've given our pound of flesh by the age of 60! and the thought of now having to work until I'm 66 is daunting, I have no idea where I will find the energy, so much of it is just not there anymore, but I have no choice, none of us do, and I'm one of the more fortunate people in this situation, who is actually still able to work, albeit at a push because I do have some health issues, but nothing compared to some, and I'm forever grateful for that fact and never take it for granted. I do feel however, like a fish in a barrel, held to Ransome by bureaucracy, the British Governments foot firmly in place on my head, never letting me up for air... and very sadly, and importantly, two of my best friends didn't even get to enjoy their retirement years; bless their wonderful souls.
I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your lives to read through this, time is a precious thing indeed.
I hope I haven't droned on too much, I didn't know how much or how little to write because I've never done this before, and didn't know much about crowd funding sites or what the criteria is, but I thought I should paint some kind of brief picture of my life to enable readers to better assess my situation.
I would just like to add, that I live a very frugal life, I recycle everything and do my best to watch my Carbon Footprint, I'm not a big consumer.
My kindest regards to you all, and any donations will be so gratefully received, used wisely and appreciated beyond words.
In addition, please read the above link, it's an Eye-opener indeed! and it backs up the point I have made in the 12th paragraph, the paragraph regarding the first link.
Please read updates for any changes to my situation.