Life can be unpredictable at times and many of us may need support when we least expect it, whether it’s following a change in employment status, the death of a loved one, a sudden illness or mobility issue, or any number of other things that impact social wellbeing.
Our Welfare Team is here to support all our beneficiaries with these issues and more, when they need it most.
Here, Welfare Services Lead Carrie Pearce reveals 10 of the things our Welfare Team could help you with – and some of the ways they’ve helped beneficiaries in the past.
- Bereavement support: We can offer everything from advice and guidance to financial assistance, welfare benefit advice and help with claims. We can also signpost you to local community support, offer telephone support and refer you internally to other Charity pathways.
We previously helped one beneficiary who had lost her husband in an accident. We assisted with emergency financial support, claiming of welfare benefits, telephone support, advocacy and recuperation.
- Financial Hardship: Anyone can experience financial hardship when they least expect it. We can be here for you. Depending on your circumstances, we could offer telephone support, financial assistance – whether that be with supermarket vouchers or welfare benefits advice and help with claims. We can also help refer you for debt advice, refer you to foodbanks and offer support to fund small household items.
One beneficiary we helped, who had epilepsy, was living in a property with bare concrete floors. He recently had a seizure, resulting in a brain haemorrhage, after he fell and hit his head. The Charity is now making a financial contribution towards carpeting the property.
- Home adaptations: We offer advice and information regarding statutory grant funding and financial assistance, as well as supporting and liaising with statutory agencies and suppliers. We can also discuss possible match funding arrangements.
Previously we offered financial support to a beneficiary, who is wheelchair-bound, to help with widening internal doors and removing walls to enable wheelchair access to all areas of the ground floor. The beneficiary is now able to be more independent and spend time with his family.
- Specialist equipment: We offer support with sourcing equipment, liaising with statutory agencies, offering financial assistance to purchase equipment and match funding, where appropriate.
We once offered financial assistance to purchase a trike for a child with Down’s syndrome, to enable him to join in family outings and improve his mobility and social skills.
- Mobility issues: We can offer financial assistance to fund equipment, help to claim welfare benefits, advice and information regarding statutory provision and blue badge referrals.
We helped the widow of a firefighter with mobility needs to purchase a mobility scooter, enabling her to be independent and continue to socialise with friends, as well as go shopping etc.
- Homelessness: We can offer advice and information if you’re struggling with homelessness, plus referrals to local authorities, emergency housing support and financial assistance.
We worked with one beneficiary who was living in his car following the breakdown of his relationship. We helped him find emergency housing and supported him with applications to find permanent housing, as well as financial support to purchase essentials needed for his new home.
- Housing issues: We also offer advice and information when it comes to housing issues more generally, including on grant funding, tenancy issues, financial assistance with essential repairs, replacement of white goods and furnishings and support with claiming housing benefit.
A recently widowed beneficiary with a chronic debilitating illness, living in a property with no heating or hot water, was helped by our team. We assisted the beneficiary with a green energy grant from Effective Energy and the Charity contributed the balance to replace the heating and hot water system.
- Ill health: We can offer advice and information re. statutory provision, grants, equipment, paying for care and financial assistance.
We helped one beneficiary with a 13-year-old daughter who has physical and learning disabilities and a diagnosis of Early Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy (EIEE). The condition is considered very rare. She required a specialist car seat that swivels, enabling her to travel comfortably and be safely manoeuvred in and out of the car.
- Employment issues: We can offer advice and information, advocacy, support to claim welfare benefits and hardship support when it comes to employment issues.
A retained firefighter who was made redundant from their main employment was assisted with claiming welfare benefits and offered financial support in the form of food vouchers, whilst waiting for benefits to be paid.
- Social care: Finally, we can offer advice and information, funding for care, advocacy and help with application forms for social care.
The wife of a retired firefighter who was experiencing ill health and advanced dementia was helped with advice and information when it came to paying for residential care. They were also supported with their welfare benefits claim and applications for statutory funding. The team made a home visit to the family, and telephone support throughout.
If you feel you would benefit from some support from the Charity’s Welfare Team, call our support line on 0800 389 8820 and a member of our assessment practitioner team will put you in touch.
Need a rest and recharge?
Here at The Fire Fighters Charity, we are developing our services to ensure we can offer anyone who may need some time out from the challenges of day-to-day life – no matter their age or stage in life – a break away and a chance to rest and recharge.