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Lynn's story

Through the Lightning Reach portal Darren received support from:

Through the Lightning Reach portal Darren received support from:

Through the Lightning Reach portal Jessica received support from:

Through the Lightning Reach portal Jessica received support from:

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Lynn discovered the portal via our partners at:

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Through the Lightning Reach portal Lynn received support from:

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Lynn's Story

Weymouth, England

“What you do is amazing, it's fantastic. It wasn't just the financial difference it made to me, but the emotional support which made a big difference. It lifted my mood and made me more proactive. I can be more organised with my money, which is brilliant.”

 

Health issues and cost of living crisis led to financial challenges

 

Lynn's life took a turn 11 years ago when she developed bipolar disorder. This led her down a path where she could no longer work full-time. She spent time in a refuge and eventually relocated to Weymouth away from her children. Managing her finances alone with her illness proved challenging, resulting in credit card debt to cover daily costs.

 

Now, relying on benefits and only able to work part-time (one day a week) due to her condition, Lynn is diligently working to repay her debts. Despite her careful budgeting, which has helped her keep most utility and daily bills under control, she found herself in arrears with her gas payments and decided to seek help.

 

Discovering support through her energy provider

 

Having always worked previously, Lynn has struggled to know where to seek support, especially for specific circumstances that may arise. Finding it difficult to communicate over the phone, she prefers online interactions. This led her to search for support on her energy provider's website, British Gas, where she discovered the Lightning Reach portal:

"I was looking to see how British Gas could help with my gas bills and saw a link to Lightning Reach. I had no hesitations clicking because, being on British Gas, I felt assured it was a trusted site. Reading about Lightning Reach, I thought it was going to be too good to be true. I didn't expect anything but thought I would give it a go."

Discovering and applying for timely support

 

Lynn went on to complete her Lightning Reach profile:

 

“It was very easy to do, everything on [the portal] was extremely easy to do. I did it all in one go; it was all very straightforward. If I can manage my way around it then anybody can.”

 

She was matched with support that she had never discovered before.

 

“I was really pleasantly surprised at the amount of different organisations that help people with different things and circumstances, people are not aware of all of this. I didn't know any of this support existed!”

 

Due to her past work experience in newsagents and running a convenience store, Lynn was matched with and went on to apply to Lightning Reach support partner NewstrAid. NewstrAid supports individuals and family members experiencing difficulties and who have worked in the sale or distribution of newspapers and magazines in the UK.

Connecting her bank accounts as part of her application was particularly convenient, saving her from the hassle of downloading numerous statements.

“That was fantastic. I had never come across it before, but it was brilliant. I didn't need to worry about making sure I had attached all documents - I would have needed to download nearly 20 sheets for 3 months of statements. The fact that it was so easy made me feel like I did something wrong. It can't be that easy, surely?”

Once submitted, Lynn could not speak more highly of the treatment she received from NewstrAid as they proceeded with her application.

“The lady on the phone was lovely, [she] told me I needed another document, which I provided. There happened to be a review session of applications that day so I was really lucky how quick it went. It felt like I was on the phone to a friend, I wasn’t being judged, it made a big difference to me.”

Providing not only financial but emotional support

Lynn received £1,000 in support towards her gas debts and help towards managing her finances better.

 

“I was like “Wow! The money is already in my account, is there a catch?”. You just don't expect the help to really be there. It was a lovely surprise."

 

It’s really great to hear the impact this award has had on Lynn’s life, not just from a financial perspective but from an emotional one as well.

 

"Oh, it made a hell of a difference. With being bipolar and the stresses that come with that, receiving that help was amazing. I had never been in debt before, so it took so much pressure off me, it really did. It lifted my mood and made me more proactive. I can be more organised with my money, which is brilliant. I'm even saving a little bit now, which I'm putting towards Christmas."

After a great experience, Lynn will continue to use the Lightning Reach portal in the future for when circumstantial needs arise.

“What you do is amazing, it's fantastic. It wasn't just the financial difference it made to me, but the emotional support, as I wasn't used to having debt, your mood just gets you down. You sorted me out, my situation was circumstantial. I will go back into the portal when I need further support.”

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