Success Stories

Catherine's Story

Catherine was employed within the Armed Forces when she found herself caring for her father, who suffered dementia. Her father’s care was manageable with the help of Catherine’s mother, who was happy to take care of her husband – that is until Catherine’s mother unfortunately suffered from a stroke, and needed to be cared for herself.

Suddenly Catherine found herself with no choice but to give up work and become sole Carer for both of her parents. Things took a turn for the worse when the Department of Work and Pensions didn’t recognise Catherine as the sole Carer of her parents, and she was denied any access to benefits.

Pretty soon the stress of it all took its toll on Catherine, and she began to struggle with her mental health. That’s when she decided she needed to do something about it, and so she contacted Essex Carers – The Way to Work.

Catherine’s Keyworker, Paul, recognised that she needed support from an organisation who could relate to her background within the Armed Forces. Though reluctant at first, Catherine allowed Paul to forge vital links between her and the Royal British Legion, who had a team who could support her to access all the benefits she had been missing out on.

Within weeks, they had an action plan in place, and Catherine was looking forward to the Department of Work and Pensions back-dating all of the benefits she’d been entitled to, but hadn’t been able to receive. She was also able to forge links in the Royal British Legion with people who understood her background, and could relate to her particular circumstances.

With her finances on the up, Paul could now help Catherine focus on getting back into paid employment. Catherine’s mother’s health was improving to the point where she could take care of her husband again, leaving Catherine with more time to focus on her goals.

Paul and Catherine revisited her needs analysis and put their heads together to figure out how Catherine could use her caring skills in return for paid work. Soon enough, Catherine made the leap into self-employment, allowing her the free time to focus on herself and her parents, as well as an opportunity to earn an income.

Catherine is now self-employed as a carer for adults with learning disabilities. We wish her and her family the very best of luck with her future!

Do you have a Caring role for a friend or loved one? Could you use our help? Contact us to find out more about the support we can offer you, including respite, access to funds, and more.

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