Success Stories

Betty’s Story
I was always the one who managed the house and Jack did everything else. He was a wonderful organiser and sorted everything for me. We had 52 years together and then he had a heart attack and died quite suddenly. For the first few weeks, everyone

I was always the one who managed the house and Jack did everything else. He was a wonderful organiser and sorted everything for me. We had 52 years together and then he had a heart attack and died quite suddenly.

For the first few weeks, everyone was kind and helpful. Friends came in with food and my grandchildren kept an eye on me. Then it all melted away and I was left to cope alone. I have a wonderful family but they’re all busy and I hated to trouble them.

I didn’t know where to begin. I’d had a bit of help from Jewish Care and they suggested I contact The Paperweight Trust. First, two people came to visit me and they were so kind. They weren’t pushy, they just listened. On the second visit we stared to go through the letters. I wasn’t able to read them on my own but even once I’d read them, I didn’t really know what to do next. I was alright paying basic bills but it was everything else I needed help with.

For the next three months I had regular visits from my caseworker who initially sorted out the backlog. Then she showed me how to deal with the regular things that I hadn’t a clue about because Jack had always seen to it. She still phones me every week. Sometimes I ask her to come round but now it’s more like having a friend who advises me from time to time.

I can’t thank The Paperweight Trust enough. I don’t know what I would have done without their help.

 
Julia’s story
I arrived in London having lived abroad since childhood. My reasons for coming back were mainly because I had family here. I also wanted to be as far away as possible from my abusive former partner. I needed to turn my life around, to find a place

I arrived in London having lived abroad since childhood. My reasons for coming back were mainly because I had family here. I also wanted to be as far away as possible from my abusive former partner. I needed to turn my life around, to find a place to live, to start training or to find work. Most importantly, I also needed to recover psychologically after the traumatic breakdown of my relationship.

There was never going to be a quick or easy solution to all my problems but what The Paperweight Trust did was help me sort myself out in a gradual, systematic way. They advised me how to access help by putting me into contact with a number of welfare organisations; my caseworker met me on a regular basis and made me aware of the opportunities that were available to me and she also found someone who helped me to fill in all the forms I needed to submit.

I have been here for a year now. My caseworker is in touch with me but fortunately, I don’t need her anywhere as regularly. She showed me how to manage without doing it for me. I’m currently on an IT course and I have part-time work. I live in a rented flat in a good area. I’m not there yet but thanks to The Paperweight Trust I’m well on the way to becoming self-sufficient.

 
Erwin’s Story
Erwin and Wilma, who between them clock up 175 years, are refugees. Erwin came to UK via the DP camps, two years after the war.  Wilma came across as a child on the Kindertransport.  Here is their Paperweight story in Wilma’s own words. Our

Erwin and Wilma, who between them clock up 175 years, are refugees. Erwin came to UK via the DP camps, two years after the war.  Wilma came across as a child on the Kindertransport.  Here is their Paperweight story in Wilma’s own words.

Our Jewish Care Social Worker referred me to The Paperweight Trust when my darling Erwin was admitted to hospital suffering from nervous exhaustion.  This had been brought about in the main by his distress at the growing piles of papers which infested our lovely home and the associated pack of angry and frightening creditors.  I am wheelchair bound and reliant on him for my transport out of the house, so I had been cooped up with mountains of papers for weeks.

When I made the appointment, I was dubious that Paperweight could help, as Erwin’s fears and phobias were very entrenched , him being an old fashioned and proud type.  He is very stubborn and would not countenance any interference.  His health was failing, but his pride was as fierce as ever.

Michael the caseworker, was very easy to get on with, and over the coming weeks and months, he helped me and Erwin – when he returned from hospital – to make a priority list of what was essential and what was not.  Without exaggeration, some of our papers, in neat and documented piles in the dining room, lounge and spare bedrooms were over 50 years old.  They included domestic bills, receipts for electrical machines long disposed of and correspondence with every institution with whom we had made contact.  Michael who himself is a professional in the City, had both an easy approach to bureaucracy and a no-nonsense response to the jobsworths whom Erwin had encountered in the recent past.   With Michael’s help, we cancelled un-needed motor policies for cars we had long ceased driving, improved our electrical and gas tariffs and also through sensible and well reasoned discussion, enabled Erwin and I to make the necessary move from our family home to sheltered housing in a Jewish neighbourhood.

It was very hard giving up our dream home that we lived in since 1960s, but in truth, I lived in only two rooms downstairs and most of the house was neither inhabited nor habitable because of the crates of papers.  That together with my lack of mobility, decided us.

Michael liaised with the Housing Association, arranged for us to meet in our home a selection of estate agents, and when the moving date had been finalised, he organised the entire removal.

I would like to say that the story finishes there, but that isn’t the case.  In his final sorting of the key papers which we were to move across, Michael chanced upon some policies which included in their premiums, PPI cover.  I really couldn’t be bothered to fill in the necessary forms to make a re-claim – but Michael could.  The outcome was that about five weeks after moving into our new cosy and clean apartment, we received a very large five figure cheque which together with the proceeds of our house sale, will help us maintain our dignity and comfort for as long as the L-rd spares us.  May G-d bless all of those Paperweight people, because without them, we may not have survived our ordeal.