Olivia's Story


Meet Olivia. From foster care to a recent cancer diagnosis, The Salvation Army became her family. In lockdown, with no support, she struggled through the cost-of-living crisis, your help made a difference. This is her story.

Olivia is wearing a christmas jumper and sitting at a table laid for a Christmas dinner at a Salvation Army church. Her little girl sits on her lap and her little boy on her left. They are also both wearing Christmas jumpers and hats from the crackers. A salvation Army volunteer wearing a red apron is standing with them and they are all smiling at the camera.

I first found The Salvation Army during lockdown – me and my children had not long moved to the area and we had no-one to turn to. We were on our own; at times it was lonely. When the cost-of-living crisis started, and the energy prices kept rising, I started to struggle.

During winter it was particularly tough. We didn’t have the heating on as I needed to cut back; we’d wear jumpers and have blankets to keep warm, but it got too much. I visited The Salvation Army’s cost-of-living support hub and they helped me out with energy top-ups and vouchers for food. It was one less thing for me to worry about and took the pressure off.

Then I was diagnosed with cancer. The bottom of my world fell out. I had surgery at the beginning of December and was discharged the day before Christmas Eve. I had nothing ready. Finding out about the cancer took its toll on my mental health; it flipped everything upside down.

And then, once again, came The Salvation Army. They gave me a sack of presents for the children from their Christmas Present Appeal. It was a huge relief, a weight lifted from my shoulders. My children simply wouldn’t have had a Christmas without The Salvation Army and if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what we would have done. I don’t know where we would be now.

Thank you for donating to our Christmas appeal, your support makes stories like Olivia's possible.

90p out of every pound donated is spent on supporting vulnerable people in communities across the country.