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Michelle's story

Michelle, Lightning Reach user

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Through the Lightning Reach portal Michelle received support from:

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Michelle's Story

Pontypridd, Wales

“It relieved a lot of pressure to be able to put food in the cupboards. It was just knowing somebody could support you which meant just as much as the financial support.”


Struggling with Financial Hardship and Mental Strain


Michelle, a single mother, faced financial challenges due to a combination of; a bankruptcy order, reduced work hours, and the cost of living crisis. Michelle works part-time in a racing yard, exercising racehorses, but inconsistent hours and the financial difficulties of raising a 13-year-old daughter left her struggling.

“I had a bankruptcy order so I was left essentially penniless. Everything that was coming in was going out even more,”


Relying on Universal Credit and minimal wages made it difficult for her to cover essential costs, leading to severe cutbacks on gas, electricity, and food. Previously, she had not known where to seek help, leading to further financial strain.


Discovering Racing Welfare and the Lightning Reach Portal


Despite working within the horseracing industry for nearly 30 years Michelle only recently learned about the support Racing Welfare provides through a colleague. “I didn’t know where to look for support whatsoever,” she admitted. After visiting the Racing Welfare website she was directed to apply via the Lightning Reach portal.

Applying for Support and Immediate Assistance


Michelle set up her profile on the Lightning Reach portal. Despite her initial doubts about digital forms (based on previous experiences), she found the application process straightforward. 


“I was very satisfied because it was very easy to fill in and do. I did it in one sitting and I think it took 20 to 30 minutes to complete the whole application.” 


The portal matched her with various support options, and she successfully applied for a £700 grant from Racing Welfare. This included £300 for gas and electric bills and £400 in Tesco gift vouchers, distributed as £100 weekly for four weeks. 


“This award has made us a lot happier. My daughter can now have a hot shower at the end of the day and another tea when she comes home from school, it just relieves a lot of stress.” 


The support significantly alleviated Michelle’s financial stress. The quick response from Racing Welfare and the Lightning Reach portal provided Michelle with a sense of security and relief. 


“It relieved a lot of pressure to be able to put food in the cupboards. It was just knowing somebody could support you which meant just as much as the financial support.”

Reflecting on the Experience

Michelle found the Lightning Reach portal particularly helpful. The portal’s ease of use and the immediate response were crucial for her. She appreciated the comprehensive support options available to her. 


“I felt better about my financial situation after using the Lightning Reach portal. It made it quicker and easier to find support options available to me. The portal helped me find support options I may not have found otherwise.”


Michelle is extremely grateful for the support she received and hopes that sharing her story will encourage others in similar situations to seek help. 


“Without [Lightning Reach] I would not know anything else that I would be entitled to. It has been a super positive experience. It has made such a big difference not being frustrated when no one is helping.” 


Michelle’s story highlights the importance of accessible and efficient support systems for individuals facing financial hardships. Her positive experience with Racing Welfare and the Lightning Reach portal underscores the significant impact timely assistance can make in people’s lives.

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