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Laurie’s story of getting financial support after losing his income

Find out how we financially supported Laurie when he was made redundant and lost his income overnight because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m Laurie, a retired electrical engineer living in Kent. Foothold first supported me over ten years ago when I lost my job during the financial crisis of 2008. I lost my income overnight and cold hard reality began to set in. I could see the bills mounting up and knew I had to do something, or I’d end up homeless. I got in touch with Foothold and they were brilliant. They provided short term regular financial support and some career coaching to help me to re-build. It was a tough time. I managed to get back on my feet, but it took a few years.

I appreciated Foothold’s support and my life continued. Over the years there have been ups and downs. My career spanned electrical engineering, IT and construction.

When I was made redundant for a second time in 2020 it was a big blow. It affected my mental health and I had some very dark days.

But I’m a resourceful person and have mostly managed ok.  I’ve lived with asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for years. For the most part it’s manageable but it can be debilitating and flare up out of the blue. I find it’s worse during stressful times, so looking after myself is important. I’ve also had other health problems which wreaked havoc on my body and affected my whole life.

Financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

In early 2020 I was working from home as a contractor when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. I was one of the first people to be laid off, because I was one of the highest-paid. I didn’t receive any furlough pay and lost all my income overnight. I had to begin shielding in March as I was clinically vulnerable due to my COPD and asthma. As well as struggling with shielding and the impact on my mental health, finances became a real concern again. I only had a few months’ worth of money left and could feel things beginning to spiral.

So, I got back in touch with Foothold and explained my situation. It was quick and easy to ask for support. I had to fill in a form and answer some questions. It was longer than the one I’d completed ten years ago, but nowhere near as hard work as the 40-page form to claim benefits! I knew the Foothold team would have helped me to complete them if I’d asked.

I was so relieved when I heard that I’d be receiving some regular support to supplement my benefits.

The benefits don’t even cover the essentials, let alone anything else. I was so grateful to also receive a holiday grant which means I can get away for a few days’ break soon.

Looking to the future

Things are improving now. I retired earlier this year and I’m in a better position financially. I monitor my health regularly with a tracker I’ve developed. It helps me keep an eye on my condition and I can act on any trends I see. I want to get back to nights out and generally enjoying retired life.

Foothold has been a godsend. I wouldn’t have got anywhere without their support. They stepped in and took the pressure off, not once but twice and gave me space to breathe again.

I’d say to anyone who is struggling right now — get in touch with Foothold. There’s no stigma in asking for help. I’ve been told I have a sharp, troubleshooting mind and pride myself on being resourceful, but sometimes you need to ask for help. Two minds on an issue are better than one.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet for any reason and could use some support, you’re not alone. Our team is ready to listen and help. Get in touch with us now. 

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