I'm Stefano a 27yo Chef from Italy, my partner Teresa 26yo waitress/barista from Italy as well and my daughter Rachele 2yo.
We live in Bromley, southeast London.
That is our Story,
Situats in UK since 2016, we worked in the hospitality sector from the beginning.
We build our relationship, family and dream as a normal family, so, have a good job, have a nice family, a confortable home and a good project of life to give to our kids a future which we were impossibled to created in our country (considering a very bad situations in south of italy).
As Father, today, and always, i can say 'i will sacrified myself for give to my kids whatever i didn't got in my past'.
What i didn't got in my past? Education, childhood, happiness, chance to dream!
Yeah, unfortunatelly, Sicily, my wonderful place of born, doesn't give any chance to have a good life, a wonderful place which is almost declared part of the 'Third World'.
What make me strong, was at 13yo, which i started to work for houndred euros per week doing more than 10 hours per day, when at the same time doing lessons at school, which spending at sleeping between lesson to lesson, an that cost me also years losses.
Well, that's is part of my Childhood, but i don't wanna annoying you with my past, we can go straight to the present. Which is hard, very very Hard!!
I planned to get married with my partner, after my daughter born, we planned to move in a 2 bedroom house for give a room to my daughter..we started to see a light in our life, which included a make our dreams come true.
We were very happy, good job, nice salary, a sweet home, never delayed in payment of taxes or whatever.. of course, we didn't anymore extra expences just for pleasure, but we were happy like that.
Till today, which i'm really shamed to put here my story and ask some help to the people, seeing governament and other things which they refuse to help us even in a situation like this!
Yeah, the gov, refuses to help us for cover our childcare because my partner lost her job in October..and so, considering one of us at home, my daughter isn't entitled to get childcare cost from our benefits.
So they ask us to removed my daughter from the nursery if we cannot effort the costs.
I also telling that, we start this bad situation which completely KILLS the hospitality sector, in March 2020, as everybody knews about Covid-19, we were fourloghed at 80% of salary plus the reduction of taxes, so at that time i was earning 2500£ each month, which the 80% was already 2000£ and after taxes was 1600£, so from 2500£ i just got in my hand 1600£, so enough for pay rent, taxes, and no no, no and, nothing else..but yes fortunately with my partner salary which as well 80% was 900£ per month...all right we got childcare cost to help us with nursery, but we start to live with max 300£ to cover the whole month in food, and any other essentials things.
In August, the company which i worked for, decided to fired me (obviously, i wasn't the only one, considering the situation).
So, let's roll our sleeves and start to looking another jobs, maybe some stores as Tesco, or waitrose looking for new staff (would a nice period to start a career with them) but, there is a but, i'm a chef, so i don't have Experience in that sector (laughing) experience? for? put stuff in the shelves? that's fine!
Primark, or any other application for clothes shops or other retails? the only answer i got 'we are sorry but you don't have experience in this industry, we cannot go ahead with your application, good luck'.......(laughing again)..experience for fold some Clothes?? that's fine!
I gave up..
Looking, looking...chef opportunity started to shows again, in september i finally found a job, very far from home, but ok, means contract, means work, means a lot of things.
In early october my partner, as reported before, lost her job, being a bad situation, a big company in central london, which can't open all the shops starts to cut staff, my partner as well.
at the end of october, is started to talking about a new restriction about Covid-19, and my employer, they still losing time to rolling in contract, (which i signed the first day, with all my personal documents, etc) so once they start to say to me and to everyone else in that restaurant, they are sorting out for our rights, at the same time they were just taking time and ' Steeling ' money to gov, without paying taxes for us...so i discoverd than, for Gov i was like 'unenployed'.
Tier 3, with new Lockdown to follow..... home for me, home for my partner...no salary for each one, 0£ income in november, and the minimum of the money in our household for efford a whole month is about 3000£, well...saving pot, wedding pot, started to take from those.
December....i finally found a job, close to home, contract signed (again at the first day), nice people, etc...
the bad thing, 'the first payment will come in one month', so 2 weeks work, and again Lockdown! everybody at home, contract at 0 hours...so, no Fourlough, again...
living from october salary till today with 2 months already earning 0£, and when will come (if will come) my salary, will be on january 2021..for just 2 weeks work...wow.
Cherry on the cake, our Christmas present from Gov, from our benefits they removed childcare cost because my partner is unemployed...(as we didn't look for a job, as if was everything as normal), so our benefits comes to be from 2500£ the maximum amount, to be 1900£.
All right, so we must pay rent, nursery, taxes, council tax, food, living, travel cost (when required, because we just do some walks in our area for don't spend money) with 1900£, we have 2 loans open for help us in this year..
we found a way to keep us a bit ok, we got a credit card, which was an idea for travelling or something to plan (as honeymoon, or something for the wedding) but no, we using for pay our food once a week, with the crossfingers to put the money back into it. (but right now we are 500£ under, with a credit score of 800£, so at least we can do some shopping for three more times.
Looks like a fairytale which everything going up and down, for have a nice The end.
the only thing that i know is, last year, we had project, a wedding to plan, 10000£ less or more in safe, good job, and now, we are full of debt, with a gov against us, and we don't know anymore where to dig for get help.
What i want to say and i want to shout it loudly is, 'Covid-19 doesn't kills just people, but also Dreams, projects and future'
I never though to say that, but i need to, Help us, Help my daughter, if you can, whatever you can.