Befriending CaseStudy (Pre-Covid-19)

The Issues

Mary (name changed to protect identity) is a 77 year old woman with mulitiple support needs: She has a physical disability – a spinal condition which affects her walking and she has been clinically diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). In Mary’s case she has a repetitive condition of washing her hands. She moved from a previous property to a  hospital ward. She was  entitled to  a weekly  basic state pension which is currently at £135.25 and Housing Benefit. However, her housing benefit ceased and so too did her State Pension.

The Local Authority   moved her to a 20 room hostel from the hospital. Her hostel consisted of families, many with babies and under-fives. Unfortunately, Mary was  the only elder in the property and this was clearly not ideal for her emotional and physical requirements. She lived on the ground floor as she was unable to access the stairs. On the ground floor, she shared the bathroom with 4 other families. Mary was unable to sleep at night because of the disturbance from  children within the property and  noisy  revellers outside the property.


A volunteer visited Mary twice a week, to support with her well-being, assist with the delivery  of food and household essentials and  to liaise with DWP, the  Housing Benefit Department and Adult Social Services.  A local housing charity was also contacted to support her on other days.


After 3 months, Mary was rehoused in sheltered accommodation and her state pension and housing benefit was re-instated.