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Imelda’s story of achieving financial independence

Find out how we supported Imelda to rebuild her financial independence, after the death of her husband left her struggling for income.

When my husband Clifford died suddenly in April 2019 from a huge stroke, it was the saddest day of my life.

We’d been married for 31 years, and he was my everything. After Clifford died, I faced not only the emotional burden of bereavement but also the harsh reality of financial strain.

Clifford’s health had deteriorated before his stroke, and I’d spent five years being his full-time carer. During this time, I’d given up my job and we’d exhausted all our savings. I had no income, no savings and I didn’t know where to turn.

Each day was filled with anxiety. I was so worried about how I would manage to pay for his funeral or just put food on the table.

Sorting through mine and Clifford’s life’s possessions and giving them away to charities was one of the hardest things I’ve had to

do. I couldn’t eat or sleep, and I just cried. In those dark days I struggled to find a reason to carry on. I’d lost my purpose and spark for life.

Reaching out for support

I felt embarrassed and ashamed, but left with no other choice, I made the call to Foothold. And I was amazed when I received a call from my caseworker Jonas, and he said that they would help me.

I remember feeling the relief surge through me – the kindness and care Jonas showed to me on that phone call will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Foothold’s support extended beyond financial aid. They helped me honour Clifford with a headstone, supported my job search, and offered a monthly grant that proved invaluable during my journey towards independence.

I have gradually replaced the furniture and possessions I had to give up. I’ve found joy in celebrating again. I feel proud of myself and I think Clifford would be proud of me too. My life now is about being happy and helping others.

My advice to anyone who is struggling is: don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for support. There are people out there who care and will do what they can to help you.

Giving support back to the engineering community

The support of the Foothold community has been the greatest gift.

Thanks to Foothold, today I stand proud, with a job as a carer which I find rewarding and a home filled with happiness.

Foothold provides a safety net for our families during difficult times. I may not have Clifford anymore, but I have the Foothold community. Now that I’m able to, I have set up my own monthly direct debit donation to Foothold.

My hope is that my donations will be a lifeline to someone else in their darkest days, and remind them that they too are not alone.

We understand that circumstances can change without warning, and you may find yourself struggling to afford to get by day-too-day. That’s why we offer regular and one-off grants to help you rebuild your financial security. Find out more and whether you’re eligible here.


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