From the bottom of my heart, I would like to start by thanking you for taking the time to read my request for help. I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones well in these uncertain times.
As a parent, we always want what is best for our children. Having raised my son alone (since becoming a mum at a young age) I’d like to think I have done a reasonably admirable job and my son is always at the forefront of all that I do. Which is what compels me to write this appeal seeking your kind assistance.
I am not ashamed to admit that I suffer from more than one debilitating mental health condition which means that I have not been able to maintain employment since I was 19 (which I find particularly frustrating as I had always worked alongside my parents as a child and then independently throughout my teens). I have worked hard over the years in various therapies to ensure my mental health is stable enough to take good care of my son but, unfortunately, I have never been well enough to withstand the additional pressures of employment.
Thankfully, I have been able to manage some small voluntary roles in my local community throughout my son’s life and this helps me feel I am contributing back to society in some small way. However, it does not aid my financial situation and we get by on state benefits – for which I am eternally grateful to receive but sadly does not stretch very far beyond the necessities.
Further contributing to my difficult situation is the sheer volume of debt I accrued when I was a young, single parent living alone with mental health problems and absolutely no concept of money management. My mental health conditions further compounded the debt problem I found myself in (because I spent years unable to open my post) and it left me with a huge amount of debt to my name.
Thankfully, with the help of a wonderful therapist and some exposure therapy, I was able to start opening my post a few years ago and have steadily been paying off my debts. Where I once had debt exceeding £6000, I have now got it down to just under £3000.
The reason I have shared this information with you is to explain some of the barriers I have had in both learning to drive and purchasing/ maintaining a car. Until such time I repay all my debts, I cannot afford to purchase driving lessons, a vehicle or pay for insurance and car maintenance.
As I mentioned at the start of this appeal, my son is my whole world. He is an exceptional child who always works hard and does his best both academically as well as in all his sporting endeavours. He is particularly talented at football and at a young age has shown a level of dedication to his sport that I admire greatly.
My role as a parent is to facilitate, to the best of my ability, helping my son to achieve his goals. Unfortunately, as he grows older, I am finding that not having a car to help transport him is limiting his access to further training in the sport he loves. His hard work and dedication earned him a place in two football development programmes (the precursor to football academies) in the year before lockdown.
But what makes my son even more remarkable is that he suffers from a hypermobility disorder that means he is often in a considerable amount of pain, especially after intense exercise. Despite this, he has a fierce desire to pursue his passion for football. Sadly, I had to make the difficult decision last year as a parent to remove him from one of the development centres. This was because it was a one and a half hour bus journey home, late at night when he was more often than not freezing cold/ wet and in considerable pain. This meant getting home very late at night and not leaving time enough for him to do his physio exercises, take a hot shower and massage the pains in his legs (which he needs to do before bed or he is in too much pain to attend school the following day).
However, if we had a car it would mean that he would not have to endure such a long journey home late in the evening (the training is only a 16 minute drive away in a car) and would give him time to carry out the self care he must do in order to reduce his pain levels when he gets home. This would mean he could resume the training he worked so hard to earn a place at.
A car would also be hugely beneficial to us as then we would not have to take public transport to his weekend matches and development centre training/ tournament days (which can also be a substantial distance on public transport). As life returns to some sense of normality following the Covid-19 pandemic, a car would make our life considerably easier all round, especially during times when my son suffers intense episodes of pain associated with his hypermobility disorder.
Which brings me to my bold request for your kind assistance. If you felt willing and able to do so, I would be eternally grateful for any financial assistance you might be able to offer in order to help me pay off my outstanding debt and secure the purchase of (and first year’s insurance on) a small car please.
It is my intention to put in the hard work to save and pay for my own driving lessons. But I can only do so if and when my debt is cleared. It would also be immensely helpful if I had a fully insured car in which to practise driving in preparation for taking my driving test (a friend has kindly agreed to help me gain driving experience if/ when I can purchase a car).
Clearing my debts and buying a car would go such a long way to drawing a line under years of feeling like a failure and moving our lives on to the next, debt free and independent, chapter.
In total, my request is for your financial assistance amounting to £5,500.
£3000 would repay all my debt; £2,000 would cover my first year’s car insurance (this is an average from quotes I obtained on compare the market.com); and the remaining £500 would be to purchase a small car.
I appreciate this is a huge request coming from a complete stranger and I am certain that there causes out there which are more deserving of your valuable time, kindness and generosity. However, my son is my whole world and my pride is a small price to pay if writing and asking for your help might mean he has a better chance of following his dreams.
I’ve spent almost a decade trying to undo the financial mess I got myself into when my son was young and I feel now is the right time to reach out and ask for some help over the final hurdle. I really hope you might please consider being the person who could provide this help for my family.
Whether or not you are able to assist in any way, I would like to thank you sincerely for your valuable time and consideration that has been taken reading this request for help.
Wishing you all the very best.