43 year old Eve was a working mum of one when her sister passed away aged just 38. Her younger brother had been working as an administrator but after this family tragedy he suffered a breakdown and was forced to take sick leave.
After a while it became clear that he would not be able to return to work and decided to resign. After giving up work, he applied for benefits. However, as he was unable to leave the house because of his worsening agoraphobia it was difficult. Eve tried helping her brother but found it hard to apply on behalf of someone else. So it took nearly nine months from application to receiving the money.
In the meantime, Eve's brother was forced to take out a second mortgage to help him cover his living costs. Without the money he needed from the benefits, he could not keep up with the repayments and fell into arrears. Eve says: “There was just no money coming in” so to prevent him being evicted she gave him money from her recent redundancy to keep up with the payments. She says the whole situation “was a nightmare”.
Trying to see what other support might be available for her brother, Eve had sought help from the local Citizen’s Advice bureau who told her about Turn2us. Going to their website, Eve says using the Turn2us Grants Search was “straightforward” and identified charities which might be able to offer help. She decided to apply to the Charity for Civil Servants which helps people in need who have worked in the Civil Service.
Eve's brother was awarded a £400 grant; £50 sent directly to his bank account which he used to buy food and a cheque for £350 to “assist towards daily living expenses”. Eve says, “it was just a massive relief to see that money… it was like being handed the lottery”. Without Turn2us, Eve says she’d “just be worrying” and would “be £500 more in debt probably”, as she would have continued to give her brother the money he needed from her own purse. Luckily, around the same time, her brother’s benefits also started coming through which meant that he was able to clear his gas bill and is now able to cover his living costs.
Eve is so grateful that Turn2us put her in contact with the Charity for Civil Servants as she says it was the only place she found the help she needed: “I don’t know what I’d have done without it to be honest because… I wasn’t getting anywhere”. She says Turn2us made it easy because it felt as though they “did some of the work for me” and says of their service: “I think that’s brilliant to be honest”. She says she would “massively” recommend Turn2us to others as “they want to help if they can”.