Joyce, a tour manager living overseas, contacted ABTA Lifeline when she was made redundant due to COVID-19 and then found herself homeless. Joyce was left stranded with nowhere else to turn. 

We quickly organised a flight home and arranged accommodation on her return to the UK. We then referred her to our partner Citizens Advice Manchester for the housing and benefit advice she so badly needed. Unfortunately Joyce was not eligible for housing support having spent a considerable amount of time overseas. She was devastated, and extremely concerned about being homeless again. 

We stepped in and continued to pay for accommodation and food until Joyce's benefits kicked in. We also bought her a laptop so she could complete her redeployment training through our partner People 1st International in which she gained a qualification in health and social care. We also referred her to The Centre for Crisis Psychology to help with her mental wellbeing.

Joyce said  I cannot express my thanks for the help you have given me during this extremely worrying time of my life. If you hadn't helped me to return from overseas I fear I would still be living on other people's sofas and relying on them for food. The offer of a plane ticket to return to the UK seemed so amazing a month ago but since then ABTA LifeLine's help has gone far beyond anything I could have imagined. I am now in accommodation when I thought I would end up homeless and on the streets, and at my age, having worked all my life. Not only have you helped with my rent but have been unbelievably generous with food vouchers too. This is all still sinking in, when I thought there was no hope in my future it now appears as if I may once again get on my feet and find gainful employment. Your help and tireless support really has been a lifeline for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart..'

The wonderful news is that Joyce, with her new 'care' certificate, has just secured a live in companion job for a lovely family. She has a roof over her head, a salary and pension.  She knows this will keep her going until she can get back to what she loves doing in the travel industry - December 2020