Helping people affected by illness, disability and mental health issues

Last year your support enabled us to help 1272 people affected by illness and disability and many more people with mental health issues…


Trish’s mobility is extremely poor and she has been suffering from anxiety and depression since her husband – her main carer- passed away recently. When her fridge-freezer broke this added to her anxiety and she was struggling with rotting food as she doesn’t have family or friends nearby to help. The There With You Fund helped provide this essential item.

Brian  desperately needed a new bed. He suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis and depression.  Despite his numerous challenges, Brian is keen to continue working and has a part time job.  This provides a low weekly wage but, with only limited universal credit payments to help him cover his housing costs, he has no spare money after essential expenditure. Sleeping on the sofa has been exacerbating his arthritis and poor mental health and he was worried that this may prevent him from working in the future. With your support we provided Brian with a bed and bedding to help ensure he can get a comfortable night’s sleep which will help to improve his physical and mental well-being.

Zoe  suffers from depression and panic attacks after being in a long-term abusive relationship for which her ex-partner is serving a year in prison. With medical support, Zoe’s mental health was improving and she was beginning to feel secure in her home – until she was the victim of a burglary which has made her feel very vulnerable again.  During the burglary her cooker was destroyed by the intruders and, as she could not afford to replace it herself from her universal credit payments, she was left with no way to prepare a hot meal for herself. Thanks to your support, Zoe now has a new cooker – a small but vital part in helping her to feel at happy again in her home and to be able to take care of her physical and mental well-being.

Anthony struggles with many health issues. He is paraplegic and has many health issues, including chest problems which often require admittance to hospital.  After six years with an abusive partner (who was also his main carer) he reached breaking point and called the Samaritans for help. Anthony move to temporary accommodation before getting a council tenancy but, with limited income, Anthony had little money to furnish his new home. With your support you helped Anthony to receive a cooker and washing machine – essential items for his long-term health and well-being.

Sophie is a lone parent referred by her family housing support worker. She was affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and had a number of health issues, including sciatica. These meant Sophie was unable to work and also struggled to get out and about. Her younger daughter was about to start school and her elder daughter was moving up to key stage two at school where more equipment was needed and, in receipt of limited benefits, Sophie couldn’t afford the items her daughters needed, which was causing her a lot of stress. Thanks to your support we were able to provide vouchers for Sophie to get the uniforms and school equipment her daughters needed – and a huge amount of worry was lifted.

John had a traumatic year; he had a heart attack and then was injured when he was attacked by a burglar in his flat. Both incidences deeply affected John; he stopped working as he struggled with severe depression and alcohol related issues, for which he sought help. As John gets his life back on track, he was delighted to gain and start a new job. However, as his Employment and Support Allowance stopped (and he has to wait a month to get his first monthly wage) he didn’t have the funds to continue to pay for his travel to work and he was worried he’d have to give up his new role: “Once I get my first salary I will achieve a degree of independence and things will start to improve” With your help, we have been able to provide John with a month travel pass and the means to maintain his employment.  His support work at the hostel where he has been saying said at the time: “Your efforts have made a huge difference in his self-esteem and confidence going forward.”

Carl has struggled to look after himself or his accommodation over recent years and is now in poor health. He hasn’t had gas at his home for 20 years (and due to anxiety is unable to let people in to assist) so there are issues with damp and mould. This has also affected his clothes and with no washing machine or hot water, Carl has been boiling water on the stove. Carl’s advocate believes that he is affected by a range of un-diagnosed health mental health conditions, including an eating disorder, and is working to ensure that he gets the support he needs. Carl desperately needed basic household essentials to improve his quality of life and his self-esteem.  Thanks to your support we were able to provide Carl with a new washing machine, a fridge and a clothing grant so that he can replace his worn shoes, socks and other items. It is hoped that with support, Carl can feel more able to take care of his needs – and possibly rekindle old hobbies, such as fishing.

Alex  was referred by his occupational therapist at LOROS hospice. He and his partner were looking forward to the birth of their first child when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. The couple had moved their bed downstairs as Alex was having frequent falls and could no longer climb the stairs.  Alex’s condition has continued to accelerate quickly since his diagnosis and he is now wheelchair bound.  The couple were desperate to stay sleeping in the same bed but Alex now needed a specialist and expensive profiling bed which the family could not afford. Charity Link was able to untap £3,622 of funding to help ensure that Alex and his partner can stay in the same bed and be comfortable throughout his anticipated deterioration and as his needs change.  We were also able to provide a grant of £1,500 towards the cost of a wheelchair accessible vehicle – essential in helping Alex to access the support he needs more easily and enabling him to enjoy time with his family outside the home.

Lucy was a self-employed but has been unable to work since her baby was born and diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Molly is currently undergoing treatment and Lucy needs to visit the hospital regularly and give medication on a daily basis, meaning that it is unlikely she will be able to return to work for some time. Lucy has been struggling financially and her older children have recently been placed in detention at school for not having the correct uniform or equipment, which Lucy has been finding very hard; “I feel they are being punished for suffering financial hardship and because of the illness their sister suffers from. Amongst everything else we are going through I feel I had let my children down and made them vulnerable to be the victims of poverty and I constantly worry, making my depression deeper. Lucy asked for help to stop her children being singled out and to stop “people looking down on me or my children.” We were able to provide £225 for new school uniforms and equipment, helping to reduce some of the financial stress and worry the family were experiencing, and helping the children to reach their full potential at school.

Stacey was referred to us by her athletics coach, seeking assistance towards the cost of a lightweight manual wheelchair. Stacey has cerebral palsy and a number of other health conditions and is wheelchair dependent.  Overcoming many challenges, Stacey has become a very talented athlete, representing Great Britain at the Anniversary Games in 2015 and 2016. A standard NHS wheelchair was not providing the support that she required, which was then leading to injury and hampering her progression as an athlete. Stacey was unable afford the cost of the lightweight wheelchair her coach and physiotherapist recommended to improve her quality of life and future career. We were able to untap £6,375 from charitable trusts to enable Stacey to purchase the wheelchair she needed, which she says is a real joy: “The right equipment is everything to a person’s active independence. I now have a greater sense of freedom”.

Amanda had a diagnosed learning disability, restricted mobility due to a curvature of the spine and hearing loss. Despite her challenges, Amanda was living life to full, independently, in her first floor flat. Amanda was then ‘befriended’ by a couple. Once they had become ‘friends’ with Amanda they began to move themselves, along with their possessions, into her flat over a period of time. Once they had moved in they began to subject Amanda to verbal and physical abuse, which drove her to leave her own home. As she had nowhere to go, she slept on the streets. The police were informed and assisted the removal of the perpetrators from Amanda’s home. However they left her home dirty and in a terrible state. The majority of her possessions were either broken or had been stolen.This experience has had a devastating impact on Amanda, who returned to a home that had been invaded and destroyed. She relied on disability living allowance and simply did not have the means to replace the items that had been broken or taken, items she desperately needed. We helped immediately and provided Amanda with Wilkinson’s and Argos vouchers to replace her kitchen items. We also provided Amanda with a brand new mattress, vitally needed due to her mobility issues. Your support has had a huge impact and Amanda has been able to start rebuilding her life.

Teenager Ben who lives at home with his parents, has severe cerebral palsy which affects both sides of his brain. He has no movement in his limbs, is nonverbal and his only method of communication is by using his eyes. Ben is a happy boy, when not in pain, and enjoys having his family around him, watching films, water therapy and days out. However, Ben gets very frustrated when he can’t make himself understood. At the special school that he attends, he had been using Eye Gaze technology with communication software. His communication teacher said that he really enjoyed using the equipment, made choices, responded and had shown great improvement in the early areas of language. Unfortunately, Ben only had limited time using the technology at school as it was shared with other children. His family and teachers believed that being able to access the equipment at home would have a huge impact on his education, independence and confidence, as well as his general health and well being. The cost of the Dynavox EyeMobile Mini system with software was £5,200 including life long support. Ben did not meet the criteria to receive funding from the NHS or education services and although his dad worked, Ben’s mum was his full-time carer, the family simply did not have the funds to purchase such an expensive piece of equipment. With your support we raised £5,200 from internal and external charitable trusts to cover the full cost of the technology, which will have a profound impact on Ben’s everyday life for years to come.

Sally and Nigel were referred for support. Sally is receiving medical support for her severe anxiety and depression. At present her condition makes it extremely difficult for her to leave the house or meet new people (or even walk her children to school) which leaves her husband, Nigel, to take on much of the care for their three young children and the day to day running of the home, but he is under a lot of pressure and sometimes struggles to cope. When the family’s old washing machine broke they didn’t have the funds to replace it and they were faced with washing clothes in the bathtub. This proved very arduous and left the parents feeling worried that their children may be bullied due to not having their clothes properly cleaned. Whilst Nigel had tried visited the laundrette, this proved prohibitively expensive and difficult as he needed to be at home to care for the children. Charity Link was able to help with a washing machine to make family life that much easier.

Shelley lives with cerebral palsy and although severely disabled she lives independently. She was referred to us when her specialist wheelchair needed to be replaced. Her deteriorating health also meant that she urgently needed a specialist eye-controlled communication computer. Neither of these items could be provided by the NHS. We raised over £20,000 to purchase the equipment Shelley needed.

Robin was trying to start again. Robin had been through a very difficult time and has recently been discharged from Bradgate Mental Health Unit. He was trying to put his life back together and had just moved into his first home since leaving the Unit. Robin had lost all his belongings, he had no furniture, bed or cooker. He was extremely vulnerable and desperately trying to cope in the outside world. Robin’s only income came from Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance and he simply could not afford to furnish his new home. We helped immediately and bought a bed and cooker for Robin, and he is now starting to rebuild his life.

Sarah was struggling with Multiple Sclerosis. Sarah had brought up her two children on her own, since their father left, and was forced to give up work due to the worsening nature of her Multiple Sclerosis; she is now wheelchair bound with limited mobility. Social Services had adapted her home and created a bedroom and bathroom downstairs, but her bedroom was unfurnished and Sarah could not afford to carpet the new rooms. We helped and bought Sarah a new bed and carpets. This has meant the world to Sarah and her children.