"Turn2us helped me at my lowest strength"
It was World Cancer Day earlier this month: an initiative which aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer.
At Turn2us, we support lots of families looking after loved ones with cancer and people like Anne who are undergoing treatment.
Anne really enjoyed her job working full time at her local council. Although she had been suffering with a condition which inflamed her back for many years, she had been managing it well.
However, she was unexpectedly made redundant. Matters were made worse when she started to feel very unwell. Her doctor soon diagnosed her with bowel cancer. The illness severely limited Anne’s ability to look for jobs. It got to the point that she could only afford to eat one meal a day, even though the hospital advised her to eat regular meals to help her condition.
Despite being good at budgeting and looking closely at her expenditure to see where she could make savings, Anne knew she was going to run out of money. The £73 per week she was receiving in Housing Benefit wasn’t enough to live on. Anne had previously supported several charities when she could afford to. Now she realised that she might be eligible for support herself. "Rather than be proud", she decided to ask for help.
Having helped families struggling with money during her time at the council, Anne had been aware of Turn2us for a number of years. She entered her details on the Grants Search tool on the Turn2us website. As somebody who hadn’t applied for any kind of support from charities in the past, Anne found the website "very user friendly, very helpful and very accurate."
She was delighted to find that she could apply for several grants and was soon awarded £700 from our Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund to help with her daily living costs. She was also awarded a grant of £400 from another charity. She was particularly impressed with the speed of the process – from looking on the website, to applying, to receiving support took just six weeks.
The grants she received "made a huge difference". Not only that but Anne felt that just having Turn2us there to help and support her relieved the panic she was feeling more than anything else. She felt she no longer had to worry about paying the rent and eating more than one meal a day nor "little things" like having the money for a bus.
The grants have helped Anne get her life back on track despite the difficulties caused by her illness. She has since managed to get a part-time job and is very positive about her future. She’s hoping that she can increase her hours and work three days a week in the future.
"Turn2us helped me when I was at my lowest strength, both financially and emotionally. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would have done otherwise."
She also had some words of wisdom for people struggling with money. "People shouldn’t be put off by thinking I have to seek out a charity. People need help. That’s what charities are there for, to help people."