Financial social prescribing is a vital part of whole-person wellbeing. But money, welfare and housing problems can create isolation and a sense that you’re the only one with a problem. Our stories show the positive impact of advice and information on real people’s lives…
The stories are real. But we’ve changed the names to maintain confidentiality.
Mike's mother has dementia, and he cares for her full time. He has some problems with literacy, and he doesn't have access to the internet. One day, Mike received a letter. It told him that his mother’s Disability Living Allowance was being stopped. He was to apply for Attendance Allowance instead.
Mike became very anxious. He felt so worried, he even thought about taking his own life. He explained his concerns to his doctor, who was already helping him with his mental health, and the doctor referred him for financial support.
Mike's link worker helped him successfully complete the Attendance Allowance application he had been so worried about. She also showed him how to access the services of Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Society. Here, he was able to find advice on caring for his mum. Mike said the support saved his life.
Debbie was attacked by a colleague, who ran her over in his car outside their office. After the incident, she tried to return to work. But she developed post-traumatic stress disorder.
Debbie became frightened of going out. She spent most days in bed, with suicidal thoughts. She fell into debt.
Her link worker applied for Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment for her. She also activated the Breathing Space. The Breathing Space gives anyone in debt legal protection from creditors for up to 60 days. Debbie disengaged from the scheme. But her sister stepped in to help, contacting Citizens Advice. Debbie is now receiving debt advice and the benefits she was due.
Sharmin lost his job due to lockdown. This meant he and his wife had no income. They spoke limited English and did not know where to get help. While visiting his local GP surgery, Sharmin mentioned to a nurse that he felt anxious and worthless in his situation. The nurse referred him for financial support.
Sharmin's link worker made an application for Universal Credit. It did not match his previous income, but it did cover essential bills. Within four months, Sharmin had found a new job and was able to stop claiming benefits.