Martin was referred to the Project because he was seeking ways to support himself and his wife after her PIP benefits were denied. Martin, a full-time Carer for his wife, told his Keyworker, Paul, how concerned he was about finding work as he approached retirement age.
The perceived barrier of his age was a source of anxiety for Martin, who had previously worked as a Music teacher and feared he could never put his skills as a musician to use again. With his wife’s Personal Independence Payments denied, the financial burden on them both put a huge strain on their lives, and it appeared to Martin that he had very few options left.
Keyworker Paul visited Martin and his wife in their home and together they discussed their ideal outcomes. Ideally, Martin could gain an official qualification in Music while caring full-time for his wife, if only she could have her PIP payments returned. Martin would then be at a higher advantage while approaching employers, knowing that he was working towards an accredited qualification while his wife received her full entitlements.
Fortunately, Paul had extensive experience in helping people to navigate the benefits system from his previous work for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He sat with Martin and his wife and helped them to write an effective appeal against the decision, and very soon the couple received the news they had been waiting for – the PIP payments were to be reinstated, including all the back-payments they were owed.
Martin was thrilled, and could now focus on his own goals. However, there was still a problem – at his age, how could Martin afford the course fees for an accredited course?
Paul got straight onto the phone to the Open University to discuss the issue, and soon he and Martin were filling out forms to apply for funding. Within two months, Martin had enrolled on his dream course – a BA (Hons) Music degree, which he could study for part-time from home around his caring responsibilities to his wife.
Martin is now well on his way to applying theory to his practical knowledge of music, and using those skills to educate others in paid employment as a teacher. Since parting with his Keyworker, we were delighted to hear that Martin has passed his first round of modules with an overall score of 70%!
We wish him all the very best for the 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.