If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that life is unpredictable. Some changes of circumstances can require fairly minor adjustments, but there are others that have a huge, sudden and unexpected impact on our day-to-day lives.

Luckily, you’re not alone in trying to adapt to these change of circumstances. It is the aim of our Welfare Services team to empower those people coming to us for support to maintain as much of their sense of independence as possible.

To help you stay connected at home, we may offer ongoing telephone support through your period of adjustment or signpost to local support groups or community activities to promote an active independent lifestyle, as well as offering information, advice and signposting on a wide range of topics.

We can talk to you about equipment and home adaptations to make life easier and offer advice on mobility issues or small aids or adaptations to help maintain your independence.

We believe that everyone is entitled to a decent standard of living, so if necessary we can help provide small household items or support with the provision of basics around the home, such as heat and light. We can also offer advice, information and advocacy support to prevent issues of homelessness.

As well as liaising with internal specialists within the Charity, we also work closely with statutory services, occupational health teams, physios, occupational therapists, social workers and GPs.

Norman and Shonah’s story

Asking for help is not an idea that comes naturally to Norman Meechan. A Scottish firefighter who spent 31 years with the service, he had always thought he could manage by himself without having to trouble anyone. But when his wife, Shonah, had a stroke and he later developed Parkinson’s Disease, it took him having a nervous breakdown before he realised how important it is to let others help you.

““I wish I’d asked for help sooner,” says Norman. “You think you know it all, but with this, you know absolutely nothing, so let people help you. That first time I admitted to myself and to others I needed help was very hard, but it’s taken the pressure off. It’s just the point of contact, knowing they’re there. They never say no, they never let you down. I keep saying to any firefighter I meet, if anything happens to you or your family, remember The Fire Fighters Charity, they’ll look after you.”

Read their story here.