Over the past year we have helped 220 individuals and their families by giving over £134,000 in hardship grants. This could be for essential home repairs, help to buy specialist mobility equipment, assistance with travel costs for hospital appointments, respite holidays or simply replacing a worn-out fridge. These grants, both large and small, have a significant impact on the lives of the people who receive them.
Below are stories from just some of the people who’ve benefitted from the Company’s support over the last year:
Ken tragically lost the sensation in his hands and feet after receiving chemotherapy to treat his bowel cancer.The effects may last for the rest of his life, preventing him from working and caring for himself.
Ken’s wife now acts as his carer, supporting him with all his personal needs. Before his cancer diagnosis, Ken and his wife were managing on a small income from their pensions and from his job.
However without Ken’s income, they begun to struggle financially. Ken felt very responsible as he has always been the main bread winner in the house and didn’t want to leave his wife with financial burden. Ken felt very hopeless about his and his wife’s situation before he found out about The Furniture Makers’ Company.
Having committed many years of his life to the furnishing industry, Ken applied to The Furniture Maker’s Company for a hardship grant to help cover the cost of some of their bills. We were delighted to support Ken with a grant of £1,000 and ongoing financial support with an annuity.
A joiner by trade, James suffered anxiety and panic attacks after 18-months of torment, harassment and verbal and physical assault from his ex-partner. He was moved out of his furnished flat into emergency housing by the authorities for his own safety, but James found it increasingly difficult to concentrate at work due to the stress he’d been put through.
His state of mind deteriorated to the point that his doctor prescribed him with medication and signed him off as too ill to work. James relocated to a new flat which was completely unfurnished and undecorated. James was very grateful for the move but found it difficult to live a normal life without some basic home furnishings.
He applied to The Furniture Makers’ Company for a grant to make his new home more comfortable for himself and for when his six year old daughter visited. We gave James £1,900 to buy carpets, a washing machine and cover installation costs, plus HALO kindly donated a sofa and bed.
With the support of The Furniture Makers’ Company and HALO, James has a home that he’s happy for his daughter to visit. He has been given a fresh start and is hoping to find work and rebuild his life.
Tracy suffers with osteoarthritis and gout, which sadly left her unable to get in and out of the bath to wash. Her occupational therapist recommended she have her bath removed and a level access shower installed.
Unfortunately, Tracy didn’t qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant and her local authority would only be able to pay for half of the costs, with her needing to pay the surplus. With no personal savings available for the work, Tracy was left with no alternative but to wash from her sink on a daily basis, until she was told about The Furniture Makers’ Company.
Having worked in the carpet industry, Tracy submitted an application to The Furniture Makers’ Company for a grant to contribute to the other half of the costs. We gave Tracy the £850 needed and she has since had a shower installed.