A day at Charity Link

“I’m one of five caseworkers here at Charity Link and it’s our job to assess our referrals to decide how best we can help each client.

Today, my day starts with a case from a tenancy support worker on behalf of a young man who has been homeless for the past two years and is moving into his first independent tenancy today. Thankfully I can use our local funds to immediately provide him with a bed from our supplier and a voucher for bedding and kitchen utensils. I also submit an application to two national charities for a cooker and fridge freezer.

My next case is from a social worker requesting help for a child being bullied at school because her uniform is threadbare and outgrown. Charity Link is able to supply vouchers for a number of school uniform suppliers throughout the county so I pop some in the post with our best wishes.

I next receive a number of emergency applications. These are all for clients who have no income at all and we quickly allocate food vouchers and top up utility pre-payment cards.

The daily post arrives and brings with it cheques from the Electrical Industries Charity, Footwear Friends and Hospitality Action. These are all occupational related charities responding to applications I have submitted for clients in need of a variety of essential household items. Orders are then placed for the goods with our suppliers who will arrange delivery within the next few days.

The next application I pick up is for a lady in her 40s who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. She is in desperate need of a specialist wheelchair but cannot afford the £7,000 cost. I spend the afternoon identifying the local and national charities that may be willing to help and submit applications to ten of them requesting contributions. I have established contacts with most of these organisations over the years and I telephone them to discuss the case. Donations will also be made from three of our in-house funds that have been set up to assist people in need of disability equipment.

It’s been a busy but rewarding day and I’m looking forward to helping more people in need tomorrow.”

Rachel Gascoigne, Caseworker at Charity Link