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Bank Workers Charity (BWC): Helen's Story

Find out how BWC helped Helen when she got into debt

Helen who was helped by Bank Workers Charity"I’d worked at a high street bank for 13 years and thought I earned a fair salary, but I’d always found it hard to make ends meet and never managed to save", Helen said. "My rent increased recently and I had to take extended sick leave, and things got a bit out of control. For the first time I couldn’t pay off my credit cards and I got in rent arrears.

"When I got back to work, I just wasn’t earning enough to cover my debt. I got an eviction letter from my landlord and panicked. I had no idea what to do and all the advice out there was overwhelming. I did think about talking to HR but I was worried, because working for a bank you don’t really want to be talking about your debt.

"I saw a poster about the Bank Workers Charity on the notice board at work. To be honest, I didn’t even know there was a charity for people who worked in banking, but I gave them a call anyway."

How BWC helped    

When Helen called, she’d clearly had a tough time. We set up an appointment for a chat to help us understand how we could help.

It sounded like Helen was having some anxiety symptoms, possibly because of her worries about losing her flat. We worked with Helen to check her benefits and found she was entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment. And we were able to support her in helping to prioritise her debts and work out a budget she could stick to. To help her avoid eviction, we made a one-off grant to reduce her rent arrears.

Helen was still feeling anxious, so we were able to refer her for a series of counselling sessions and she now has ongoing access to resources to help manage her anxiety.

How Helen's doing now

"I still have debts, but now they’re actually shrinking", Helen said. "I’ve even started to save a little money every month for those unexpected costs. I still have anxious moments but know that if things get out of control again I have somewhere to turn for help."

Read the Grants Spotlight article on Bank Workers Charity (BWC)