Margaret lives with her husband in Kent. Both in their eighties they are retired and had intended to live on equity made from a previous business. However, having tried to sell their business about seven years ago, litigation costs surrounding the sale mounted up to around £27,000 which used their life’s savings. Although the couple had pensions and disability related benefits, living on just £300 a week meant that money was tight and eventually the couple was forced to remortgage their house to pay their bills.
The stress of the situation took its toll on Margaret and she fell ill with myasthenia gravis which causes muscles to weaken. She now uses a wheelchair for mobility and needs to visit the hospital several times a week for her on-going treatment and preparations for an upcoming hip operation. So having a car is essential for the couple.
Consequently, when their car’s gearbox broke, the couple were worried about how they would travel the eight miles to the hospital. Although the pair were aware that there are emergency NHS cars, they were concerned that the frequency of the visits would have made not having their own transport very difficult. With no savings, Margaret turned to the internet to see if she could find a solution.
Coming across the website for Turn2us, Margaret found their helpline number and gave them a call. Going through the Benefits Calculator with her, the advisor realised that she was already claiming for everything she could, but suggested that she tried applying for a grant.
As Margaret's husband had worked for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the past, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund was identified as a relevant charity for them to try, as one of their core objectives is to “provide assistance to the RAF family, when they are in need”.
The RAF Benevolent Fund offered to pay the £700 bill to fix their car which was a “great relief” for the couple. Margaret says her car was repaired so quickly that she didn’t even have to miss her appointments and that having the money to pay the mechanic’s bill made a “terrific difference”. She is also particularly pleased that her husband will now be able to visit her in hospital while she recovers from her operation.
Margaret says that Turn2us offers “an excellent service” and that she “found them very helpful”. She would encourage others to try calling them, as she says: “They’ve only got to contact them and they’ll get all the help that they can give”.