Hi, I’m Aaron and I own and run my company called Afterdark Entertainment.
I’ve been a full-time DJ since 2017 and have steadily built my business up. I have one hotel residence in Basingstoke Hampshire.
I kind of knew that we would probably go into a lockdown of some sort but I honestly didn’t think it would affect me as much as it has. When it was announced we would be going into a full lockdown I felt physically ill!
The week after that I saw all of my hard work and dedication taken away from me almost in an instant. I had roughly 20 weddings booked in for us to do for this year. I know it’s not as many as others but it was great for me personally as it meant I could have family time as well as work. It also meant we had dates to fill for other such events. However to lose 10 bookings in one week I was devastated. I knew I had savings I could use to get me through. Within one month it was gone! I just didn’t know what to do? Do I sell my equipment, so I get a loan of some sort? After talking to the family I decided to contact DWP for the Universal Credit scheme! I’ve never used the benefits system nor knew nothing about it! I’d also like to add in that I suffer from PTSD! The only thing that got me through this was music!! It’s just been taken away!
So I applied for the scheme and got it. Finally a bit of money for me! I seriously thought I’d only need it till August as that’s when I thought it would get better? Nope! So when the chancellor announced the employment income support scheme I thought excellent I’ve got help! Applied for this and got it too! But as we all know we need money to live so unfortunately after I paid my bills etc I was left with £150!!!! And because I got this grant it meant the money from Universal Credit was stopped that month! My anxiety is now going through the roof! However, I got through but still having work cancelled! I’m still on Universal Credit as of today but I can’t believe people can actually survive on this a month! It’s just crazy! Anyway so far I’ve lost thousands of pounds in work and I haven’t totalled it up as I’m too scared too!
On the 17th of July, the government announced that there would be a changed way of wedding receptions and how they would work so I was feeling better in as much as there was something changing finally! However, the announcement on the 31st of July scuppered that totally. I’m now feeling very concerned about the rest of the year and also all the others who are in my position too! I really hope that the government will help us but I can’t see that happening either?