"The Salvation Army are living angels. I can’t thank them enough."
Sophie was told to self-isolate by her GP at the start of lockdown, having a chronic health condition.
She didn’t expect the lockdown would later mean no money coming in or food for her family.
Sophie (not her real name), 42, is a registered A&E nurse living with her partner and four children aged three, five, eight and 10. Despite having an inherited chronic illness which means every morning she has to use a nebuliser to clear her airways so she can breathe properly, Sophie has lived a very active life.
Sophie said: “I was born with brittle asthma which means my lungs don’t work as well as they should, and breathing can be very difficult”.
“But then Coronavirus struck. I had a call from my GP telling me I had to shield at home for 12 weeks. My partner Mike is an antiques restorer and has run his own business for 30 years. But as soon as the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions came in, all Mike’s work stopped just like that. So overnight we literally had no income. I had to ask my father and sister to help pay our rent, I’ve never had to ask my family for money before and I didn’t like asking them.
“I called the local Salvation Army to see if they could take over helping the homeless community I could no longer support. I had been going to the food bank and cooking them meals at home, but I knew I wouldn’t be able do that anymore. It was as though the rug had been pulled from beneath my feet in every aspect of my life.
“They said they would, which was a great relief. Then at the end of the call, I found myself asking if I could have a food parcel for my family. I hadn’t planned to ask but as we were chatting, it dawned on me that I had become someone who also needed their help. The Salvation Army officer on the other end of the phone was just lovely. He listened as I explained about our personal situation and by the end of the day he had arranged a food parcel to be delivered to our door.
“Just making that one call turned things around. The Salvation Army officer sorted out food for the homeless people I had been looking after and he also arranged for a food parcel for us. He even put out an SOS to The Salvation Army in other areas for my daughter’s special milk. And within a day, they had tracked down a big supply. It was amazing.
“Overnight, I had gone from helping everyone else to needing help. Just like that.
“The Salvation Army are living angels. There are no other words for them. I can’t thank them enough.
“Before coronavirus, I had never needed to ask anyone for help. And I honestly never thought when I was putting money in The Salvation Army collecting tin last Christmas time that a few months later I would need their help.”