King's Money Advice Interview: the Road to Recovery

Below is an Interview from one of the clients of King's Money Advice. Any names have been changed for identity protection.


When I first received help from this service, my life had reached an all-time low. Through a series of life circumstances, I’d ended up in a situation where I was addicted to alcohol and so therefore, my finances were greatly impacted by this because I was needing to fund the addiction. That was my primary purpose in life, really. It had got to that stage. Nothing else mattered. And so, due to that, I ended up in a lot of financial problems.

However, I hid my head under the blanket, so to speak. I didn’t want to face these problems. I was getting charges for being over my overdraft limit but to me that didn’t matter as long as I got my next drink, because that would send me to oblivion anyway.

Then, with the help from Norfolk Recovery Partnership, I finally admitted I had a problem and sought help from them and they helped me to start on my recovery journey, part of which included a residential rehabilitation place at Hebron House.

When I arrived at Hebron House, my finances were chaotic and I was very, very worried about the financial situation, knowing that the charges were still being incurred and I had a placement for six months. It was Hebron House that introduced me to King’s Money Advice service where I had an initial appointment together with my support worker.

I had experience with debt but it was controlled debt where I always stayed within an overdraft limit and I wasn’t incurring the other charges that come on top. I could manage my debts.

It felt very much like an “us and them” situation with me and the financial institutions I was linked to because I was receiving letters, and I was not opening the letters and I would not, myself, have been able to contact them I felt ... I felt … let me think … very small in the eyes of society anyway, that I’d got myself in this position not just financially but my health, my mental health, everything. I really didn’t want to live anymore. So, no, I had no idea how to tackle it. I don’t think the debt was that severe in comparison to some people but, to me, it was a horrendous situation to be in.

Going to King’s Money Advice, I was very apprehensive but I knew that I wanted to get this sorted. And, obviously, by now all the alcohol was out of my system. I’d had the detox and I was entering the recovery stage properly. So I was no longer in denial that this issue needed dealing with. I was apprehensive because of this “us and them” feeling I had with anyone who was involved with finances. I’m finding it hard to find the right words. …. just to feel small. I didn’t want to feel small because I was ashamed. I was carrying a lot of shame and guilt about how my life had ended up, basically. So I came along with my support worker to my initial appointment here.

It went a lot better than I expected. It was a very – I found it to be a very friendly environment, in that I didn’t feel singled out. I didn’t feel small. I felt that I was listened to. I wasn’t judged. I felt it wasn’t the end of the world financially like I’d thought it was. The advice I got was very easy to understand in that it was in layman’s terms, so I could finally get to understand where I was at financially. Because a lot of the letters I couldn’t make any sense of anyway. I wasn’t really sure where I stood in the eyes of the law.

Well, one of the things I have found really beneficial about this service is that I was offered continued support upon leaving the residential rehab. Knowing that support is always there is absolutely fantastic because there was an instance where I did receive a letter through the post and I thought “It’s a demand” but it wasn’t. It was just a standard letter that gets sent out and I was told I needn’t worry about it. So just having that, having someone there to explain things still is fantastic. And now I just feel so much more financially confident. You know, as an independent person I feel more financially confident but having that safety net there is amazing.

I’m paying off debts at an amount per month I can manage right now, up until such a time when I’m in paid work. Then hopefully I will be able to increase those repayments. It’s all manageable and the institutions are happy. So it’s a big weight off my mind.

In order to assess how much I could pay the institutions back what I owed them – this was on leaving the rehab facility – because the money advice service had managed to put the debts on hold for me for the whole six months I was in there, which was such a great relief. Upon leaving the rehab facility I now had to address these debts and in assessing how much I can afford to pay back involved working out how much I spent – my income and outgoings, basically. And doing that exercise actually helped me to get to grips with my own budgeting. So doing that has helped me to know what money I spend on items and where maybe I can cut down, and now I’m in a position to afford a driving lesson every two weeks, which is of great benefit to my future.

King’s Money Advice is a completely free debt and money advice service. No matter how big or how small your debt is, and whatever your background and circumstances, we are here to help! Our service is totally confidential, contact us today and let one of our trained advisers help you find the way out of debt.

We can:

  • Provide a listening ear

  • Help with working out a budget and prioritising debts

  • Help produce a financial statement and a realistic budget

  • Negotiate with creditors to agree to the budget and to stop interest and charges

  • If necessary, prepare you, support you and guide you at court

For more information or to arrange an appointment please contact Mike Lamb:

Mobile: 07795 327 172
Freephone: 0800 970 9875
Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

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