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louise coronavirus pandemic story

Louise’s story of financial support in the coronavirus pandemic

Find out how we supported Louise and her partner after he had to shield during the coronavirus pandemic and needed protective equipment to work again. 

My husband Adrian is a self-employed taxi driver. After having three months off work recovering from a heart procedure, he was returning to work. We were getting back on our feet and then coronavirus arrived and changed everything. We watched as the pandemic swept through the country and had a tough decision to make about Adrian working. The medical advice was that he should shield but that meant losing his wage. We talked about it and agreed that health must come first and in Adrian’s words — “I’ve been skint before, but not dead”.

But we soon began to struggle. Even though we took mortgage and payment holidays and I did all I could to get us by, it wasn’t enough.

I began to feel like we were sinking. Everything seemed to spiral and I began having panic attacks. The payment holidays we’d arranged would soon be coming to an end and I couldn’t see how we would survive. We needed Adrian back working. But to make this happen during the coronavirus pandemic, we had to buy a protective shield in the taxi, compliance certificates and masks. I couldn’t see where we would find the money. It seemed hopeless.

I work at the IET and as a member was aware of Foothold and the help they offer. Asking for help isn’t something I wanted to do. I don’t find it easy, and I thought others may need help more than me. But enough was enough, I had to swallow my pride and admit we needed help. Foothold was the only option I had. I thought, if they can’t help, I don’t know who can and the only alternative was to get into debt with credit cards.

Financial support during coronavirus

So I contacted Foothold and told them the problems we were facing. I had no expectations but was amazed when I received an email saying we would receive a £1000 grant! I couldn’t believe what I was reading – I cried with relief. It means the absolute world to us and I still can’t believe how quick it was.

The pressure immediately lifted. It means we can get Adrian back to work and our finances back on an even keel.

I would say to anyone who is struggling don’t hesitate to get in touch with Foothold and ask for help. I’ve done it, and while you might feel uncomfortable having to ask, as soon as you have, you won’t regret it. Foothold are brilliant. I wasn’t made to feel bad about myself or judged — I felt reassured and supported.

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. 

Michael Hargreaves, author of How Foothold’s new Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme can support you to achieve your career goals

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