Martin Jr.‘s Story

Life was very difficult last winter for Michelle, Martin and their children, Chardenay aged 15, Faith aged 13 and Martin Jr. aged 4.

“Martin was furloughed last year,” says Michelle. “We really struggled. Trying to sign off our Universal Credit was a nightmare because we didn’t know when he would be paid.”

On top on their financial anxiety, Martin has been very ill. “We felt isolated. Arguments were happening. We were stressing about money, about bills, about everything. It was all too much.” Thankfully, Michelle’s family got support through Box of Hope from their local church, New Addington Baptist Church.

Faith says, “I would ask whether we had to make things last and worry about things. But Box of Hope helped take the stress away from my family.”

“We got to spend time all together and do different things to normal. I got to do lots of cooking which I like doing, like we learnt to make soup from the vegetables we got!” Chardenay says.

Martin Jr. loved it too: “We made birdfeeders and played games, it was so fun! Thank you Box of Hope!”

Michelle says emotionally: “Box of Hope had a positive impact on all our mental health. The girls settled down, they didn’t feel so worried. Mentally, it stopped me stressing so much. I went through a stage where I couldn’t sleep from worry. I sleep so much better now, mainly due to the church’s support. Box of Hope has done so much for my family.”

“There was a big change in the girls, they spent much more time out of their rooms, there was much less arguing. It was really nice, it brought us closer together as a family,” continues Michelle.

“The support I get from the church is amazing. I’ve recently started volunteering in the café which gives me a bit of a break and ‘me time’ when I need it. Having the church to help makes a huge difference to us and the kids. I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Unfortunately, this winter is also set to be filled with challenges for the family. “This year my husband’s having surgery so he’s off work. We don’t know what money will be coming in, it’s going to be a struggle. We’ve income through the Universal Credit uplift ending, which adds up to about £88 per month. We have to be stricter with the food we’re able to buy.”


We must urgently raise £48,000 this Christmas to enable TLG to reach over 10,000 children with practical wellbeing support during these challenging winter months.

We need generous and like-minded supporters like you to make this happen. 
Donate today and together we will provide for children and families in crisis this Christmas.

I want to give hope to children like Martin Jr.!



Box of Hope helped take the stress away from my family.