To paraphrase many other people, I can’t believe I’m on a site like this, writing something like this. However, thank you for reading. I’ll try to keep it brief.
I came to London at 26 to study a degree in music. It was actually a great 3 years and I planned on teaching when I’d finished.
Since then, I have struggled trying to live within a profession that is not respected. Teaching agencies I’ve worked for have paid me late or not at all and I’ve always had to supplement it with bar work or other odd jobs.
My private landlord has always made it difficult for me to get proof of address but finally, I’ve been able to sign on to Universal Credit – what a JOKE it is! I never thought it could be that bad but I tell you now, the Tories and this Universal Credit system IS killing people. I’m lucky to still be young and able-bodied.
I’ve given up my dream of teaching music and even sold all of my guitars (the work had dried up anyway). I’m now signed up to do recruitment agency temp work (but there currently isn’t any) while I desperately try to find something more permanent and sustainable. Universal Credit gives me £500 per month which isn’t even enough for my rent, never mind anything else. I don’t know how they can justify this.
I’m now in 2 months of rent arrears (my landlord has been fairly reasonable so far but it won’t last). I had to get an advance from Universal Credit and they actually make me pay it back at £50 per month! This is supposed to be welfare…
As I write this, I know I’m not going to eat tonight. Maybe I’ve made some bad decisions but I was only trying to do what I wanted to do and have had a willingness to work throughout. I shouldn’t be punished for this. It’s now a cycle I can’t get out of. If an amazing job gets offered to me tomorrow, I probably won’t even have the money for transport or food to make it happen. Even if I start a job, I still have to wait a month before I’ll get paid. I can’t lose my home during that time.
I’ve asked friends and family for help but I come from a working class background and people don’t have a lot.
I’ve got no more options. I’d consider high-end male escort work but I struggle to give it away for free at the best of times (got to keep a sense of humour eh…)
Truth is, I’d need about £750 ASAP to keep afloat. Realistically though, any contribution, however small would help tremendously and even if nothing happens, I guess it hasn’t hurt to ask.
I couldn’t pay you back…but In return, I’d be happy to get in contact with any of you and offer some free guitar lessons if you’re in London. I’ll even help you move! Whatever I can do.
Even if you ask for nothing in return, your generosity would not only support me financially but give me a new perspective and maybe I can help some other people when I’m better able to.
Thank you all, here’s to better times.