Maria's story

When Maria approached the Bank Workers Charity (BWC) for support, she was faced with financial, employment and health concerns. Maria, a previous bank employee who left the sector in 2000, was referred to Leonard Cheshire Disability for further information, advice and guidance.
Maria explained to her advisor she had been affected by stress and anxiety. This had led to a negative impact on her mental health and wellbeing with her doctor signing her off work.

Maria did return but found it a struggle and had further time off for common illnesses. Her current employer started formal action around her sickness leave.

This forced Maria to have to stay in work even when she was feeling very low. Her employers requested an assessment with an Occupational Therapist to which the client agreed and she was also being supported by her Union rep.

Maria's Leonard Cheshire Disability advisor offered a listening ear, and gave further information and guidance around disability rights and reasonable adjustments.

Subsequently Maria’s employer has now started to put some measures in place for her to try and reduce any work-related stress and she still receives support from her Union rep.
The time off work had impacted on Maria’s finances she had failed to meet some of her commitments. Money management and budgeting advice was offered to the Maria by her advisor.

They worked together to produce an income and expenditure sheet. It was suggested that Maria spoke with her lenders regarding her current situation to offer reduced payments whilst Maria worked hard to get her finances back under control.

She then made adjustments to her spending habits. Maria’s main concern was utility arrears that had built up. Her advisor provided assistance by completing a grant application and helping Maria explain how the arrears had come about, and what measures she would put in place to prevent it happening again in the future.

The application was submitted and Maria was delighted when she received an award of £1345 which cleared her gas and electric arrears.

Maria is now putting into practice the good money management and budgeting skills she learnt. Maria states that the successful application has alleviated some of the stress element around her finances and has started to have a positive impact on her mental health.

If you are interested in receiving support from Leonard Cheshire Disability and are part of the banking community, please apply by contacting the BWC helpline on 0800 023 4834.

You can also visit the BWC website for more information on eligibility criteria.