I was too ill to work – the Tory benefit cap left me and my children with £50 a week to survive | James
I’m just about getting by now, but I know that I have no security – it won’t take much to put me back in the food bank queue
- This article is part of a new series, the heat or eat diaries: dispatches from the frontline of Britain’s cost of living emergency
The cost of living crisis is nothing new to me; I’ve suffered at the sharp end of the UK’s punitive welfare system for the best part of a decade.
I taught English to international students for 18 years before illness forced me to leave in 2014. Despite having worked for the school for many years, when they were hit by a shrinking demand for lessons they changed all our shifts around. The rota I was given conflicted with my childcare duties. I have two children who were young at the time and as their mother and I are divorced, we have a shared residency agreement. This means I had little flexibility with shift patterns.
As told to Daniel Lavelle. James is in his 50s and lives in London. Names have been changed
The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity that campaigns to end the need for food banks. Show your support at: trusselltrust.org/guardian