Rob is a self-employed musician and student. He’s always worked in the music industry but says that the recession hit the industry particularly hard. So he decided to start a course with the aim of retraining to support himself financially.
However, with work opportunities decreasing and course fees to pay, Rob says his financial situation soon became very difficult and he started to struggle to pay his bills. He made a claim for Working Tax Credit, which he says did help - but he was still left on a very low monthly income.
Rob found out about Turn2us from a friend who forwarded him the link to the website. Using the Benefits Calculator, he found he was already claiming everything he was entitled to, so he decided to check the Grants Search.
Rob says he was surprised by the range of grants available to help people with different backgrounds. Searching on his profession, Rob came across Help Musicians UK – a charity for professional musicians of all genres.
A successful application to the charity saw Rob receive a one-off grant of £750 to help pay his bills and get back on his feet, as well as a grant of £325 per quarter for the year ahead. He was also visited in person by a caseworker from the charity and they discussed other forms of help that might be available – something that Rob says made a big difference to him.
Rob says: “The help I received took this enormous weight and pressure off and allowed me to breathe again. It also helps you to start thinking clearly again – because when you’re under pressure you can’t think of a positive way out.”
The extra income has helped Rob to get his overheads down to an absolute minimum. Although he is being very careful with what he spends, he says he feels much better about his finances.
Rob has since recommended Turn2us to others. He says: “I’m sure there are lots of people like me who are struggling because of the economic situation. It’s great to have a charity that helps people from all walks of life and Turn2us can give you that bit of confidence to get above the poverty line and get you going again.”
Date of publication: July 2015