“It made the whole situation better.” – Jessica’s story

Jessica had worked in the print industry for seven years before she was diagnosed with a debilitating chronic condition which left her less and less able to work.

When covid hit, she could work from home and, during that time, was able to understand more about how to pace herself from a medical perspective, but her role was then made redundant. Since then, she has been entirely reliant on benefits for support, and, while she hopes to return to full-time work, this hasn’t yet been able to happen.

A friend who was receiving help from the Printing Charity encouraged Jessica to get in touch as, having suddenly gone from earning a full-time salary to only receiving benefits, things were becoming very hard. “I contacted the charity reluctantly,” she recalls. “My friend had to encourage me.”

Jessica received a financial support payment from the Printing Charity, as the benefits she was receiving left her without anything once necessities were paid.

“I can’t tell you how much that has helped out,” she says. “The financial support means I can afford things I need beyond just basic necessities. The payment couldn’t have come at a better time. After months of worrying and having no idea where I could get extra income from, it gave me the breathing space I needed to plan for the rest of the year. It meant I was no longer constantly worrying about whether or not I would be able to pay for basic things – which, with the increasing cost of living, was always at the back of my mind. Being under stress really aggravates my illness, so no longer having these worries helped with that, as well. It made the whole situation better.”

For others who may be in a similar position, and uncertain about where to turn, Jessica has clear advice. “Don’t wait until the situation becomes dire. The Printing Charity is there to support people who have worked in the printing industry, and anyone applying will have a good reason for doing so, they have not done anything wrong and they need that support, so the charity is there for them.”

Jessica acknowledges the courage it took her to start a conversation with the Printing Charity about the help she needed. “You judge yourself so much more than anyone else would ever do, and there was a real stigma for me about having to rely on a charity, having been able to support myself before,” she explains. “I really had to get over these feelings in order to write my application. But everyone at the charity is lovely, and I wish I had applied earlier.”

She’s also keen people remember that the charity isn’t just there to provide financial support, too. “There is all sorts of other help on offer. And just because they’ve helped out once, doesn’t mean they won’t help out again – so please, just ask. For me, knowing that this range of support is out there really helps mentally.”

Starting a conversation with the Printing Charity made Jessica’s whole situation better. Please contact us to start a conversation about the ways we could help you. E-mail support@theprintingcharity.org.uk or contact our friendly team Monday – Friday in office hours on 01293 542 820.

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