Caller's shocking account of slipping into poverty during lockdown

14 June 2020, 08:47

Evert, who lost his job during the pandemic and has fallen hard

By Seán Hickey

This caller shared his harrowing story of falling through the cracks and only being able to eat once a day during lockdown.

Evert phoned in to Matt Stadlen from Cornwall to share his struggle through lockdown and how he felt mentally and physically tested, as he spent most of his time alone and had only managed to eat sometimes every other day.

"I'm very concerned about some of the things you're saying like only eating every second day" Matt said, and asked how it came to this for Evert. The caller told listeners how he was "getting back on top" after living off "one basic meal a day." He told Matt that because he wasn't furloughed from his job he had fallen through the cracks of entitlement and ended up slipping into poverty.

He revealed that he would usually cook one bag of pasta and would make "it stretch for three or four days" in an effort to spend as little money as possible.

Evert noted that he had been"campaigning to try get access to this furlough at the start of the month" and so didn't notice himself slipping into poverty. He told Matt that it was difficult "not having any funds to my name" as he had finally started a new job during lockdown and was struggling to make ends meet until he was paid.

The caller told Matt that he would make a bag of pasta last for nearly a week in his tough times
The caller told Matt that he would make a bag of pasta last for nearly a week in his tough times. Picture: PA

Matt wanted to know "what about friends and family," asking if the caller could have leant on his relatives through his struggle. Evert pointed out that "as a 35 year old man asking your Mum for a sub" it is potentially an embarrassing situation, especially as he said, his mother couldn't afford to support him.

"It was pretty grim" he said, thanking a "complete stranger" for helping him out. He said that long lost friend from abroad had reached out to him during the lockdown and helped him get back on track and thanks her for getting back in line.

In an inspiring moment, Matt was told by Evert that he tries "look at the positives" during times of struggle and Matt thanked him for sharing his story.

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