Jackie Nicholas

Jackie has been an Octavia tenant for just over 11 years. She lives alone with her son who is 9 years old in a 2 bed property in W9.

I found out about the debt advice service through the Octavia newsletter. I was in a lot of debt. It started with not paying one bill and then it just escalated into lots of bills. I started to receive frightening letters through the door from companies demanding money and saying they were going to cut me off or that I owed bug sums. I just got scared and I didn’t know what to do. I was getting really depressed about it all.

I saw the information about the debt service and because it was offered with Octavia I thought I would go. I am so glad I did. Dorothy [CAB debt advisor] has been amazing. She has helped me so much. In the last few months she has managed to write off over £10,000 of my debt. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

My son is autistic and he loves the water so he likes to be in the bath and so we run up large water and electricity bills. I owed the water company £6,000 which I could not afford to pay and I didn’t know what to do. You want to pay but you get frightened. When the bills arrive you get into a state and you don’t know what to do.

The advice service is brilliant. They take the first step with you and now I can go by myself. I’ve learnt so much about how to save money and hopefully not get into more debt. They give you the knowledge but you have to work with them. I followed the advice Dorothy gave me after my appointments with her and then in my appointments we tackle things together.

The drop in sessions are really easy to come to – I think that’s why I decided to come as it was easy. I would recommend the service to any Octavia tenant. I feel like my life has been sorted out and now I am not top of all my ills and have manageable amounts to pay. The service has helped me so much.

My daughter is studying at University of Sussex. Next year she will graduate with a degree in Economics!