Here are a few case studies

They are a small sample that represent some of the clients who come through our door on a daily basis. Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of these clients.

Postcard thanking CHAT Mid Devon for foodbank


Fred had previously lived in Cullompton and returned to Mid Devon from the Midlands following a relationship breakdown. Due to a domestic incident he was homeless and penniless.

Mid Devon District Council housing were unable to help him because he has no local connection – but he couldn’t return to the Midlands due to bail conditions. He was assessed with mental health problems and was deemed a suicide risk.

After working with a CHAT Housing Adviser for several weeks, financial support was obtained from a work related charity because he had been in a trade for several years. With this and further support from CHAT, eventually he was helped into a private tenancy, the court case was dismissed, and he now has a new job.

“The help from CHAT has turned my life around from utter despair, existing with only questions in my mind. Now I have meaning and validity in my life.”



Lisa was referred to CHAT as she was living in a caravan which, after 10 years there, was now very damp. Her husband was receiving on-going medical treatment and conditions in the caravan were making things worse. They didn’t want to address the issue with the landlord, because he had a reputation for being ‘unreasonable’. They didn’t have a tenancy agreement.

Following an appointment with a CHAT Adviser, it was discovered that the husband had retired, and their 32-year-old son had returned to live with them following a relationship breakup. Lisa was working nights at a supermarket. They had other debts so brought in the paperwork.

After several weeks, the caravan was condemned by the Council as uninhabitable and a bungalow was found in Tiverton. With support from other agencies, finance was made available, and eventually CHAT assisted them to move into the new property. Lisa continues to work with our Debt and Money Advisor and we will continue to support the family to resolve their debts. 

CHAT Devon Tiverton tenancy housing money and debt advice


A single mother with 4 children, Denise was under threat of immediate eviction when she contacted CHAT. Originally from a European country, she was trying to study to become a G.P. but had put that on hold as she could no longer afford the university fees. Her mother in law, who had been helping with the children, had moved out.

She not only had significant rent arrears, but other debts as well. Supported by a CHAT Advisor her eviction was avoided and her current tenancy saved. The CHAT advisor  supporting Denise attended court with her and the eviction was put on hold whilst Denise worked with CHAT to address her financial issues. Our Adviser successfully challenged the landlord’s solicitor’s expenses claim, eventually negotiated down from £1,700 to £625.

CHAT worked with Denise to receive financial awards of £1,720, £2,000 and £400. In addition, a loan of £2,000 was obtained to help with the rent arrears.

Denise had this to say about CHAT:
“I am amazed by their passion, knowledge and empathy – they treat you with respect. I never felt judged because of my situation. They started working on my case the same day I called CHAT. They offered me an appointment and helped me in court as well. They took a big, heavy weight off my shoulders that I have been carrying for months.”

“I am amazed by their passion, knowledge and empathy…

They took a big, heavy weight off my shoulders that I have been carrying for months.”



A 68 years-old man, Geoff was very nervous and facing eviction. With arrears of over £3,000 the landlord had given notice, but its validity was questionable.

He has found it hard to move on since his wife had died two years earlier. He suffered from serious panic attacks making it difficult to deal with interviews and meetings.

Although ideally, he wanted to stay in his flat it no longer seemed to be an option. With several debts and paperwork in a mess the CHAT Advisors became the point of contact between him and several agencies.

The CHAT Adviser negotiated a stay on the eviction notice whilst alternative accommodation was found. Various benefits and other sources of funds were successfully accessed over several weeks and he eventually moved into an Alms House property.

Geoff went from being someone who didn’t see any point in living, to a man who eagerly looked forward to moving into his new home.