People helped by Iprovision
Here are some recent examples of the PR people we have been able to help. To protect their identities, we have not used people's real names.
Cathy is a single mum with two school age children. She had moved from East Anglia to the Southeast for a new job. At the same time, she also started a degree course. Less than a year later she was made redundant. Her old employer was unwilling to pay for her studies, so she quickly found herself struggling to pay bills and although she moved house she was finding life tough.
Cathy also had a variety of underlying health conditions and she felt the family were rundown and as well as having covid twice in quick succession they had repeated colds and coughs.
Iprovision stepped in and paid for her heating for six months. We also supported her by providing her with independent advice on managing her money. We helped her move back to East Anglia to be closer to friends and family and paid for her removal costs.
Cathy says “Iprovision has been fantastic. Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this helps”.
Wednesday 14 December 2022 is the day my life changed. The day I heard a phrase I thought only other people would hear…
… “ you have cancer.”
To be precise, I have Multiple Myeloma - a type of bone marrow cancer. It’s terminal – life limiting – but treatable.
The cancer sits on the base of spine and affects my overall mobility and causes chronic pain. No more running or yoga for me. And no work as a freelance communicator as I undergo treatment.
Overnight I’ve had to learn to do things differently. Learn new ways of getting dressed, climbing the stairs - even getting washed.
To support me I had my home assessed by an NHS occupational health team…I now needed a walking aid, a wet room and stair rail amongst other things. The NHS could provide most things but unsurprisingly not the big-ticket items like a bathroom upgrade.
As a member of the CIPR I remembered they had a benevolent fund, Iprovision, to support people through hard times.
I contacted the CIPR to find out more. And, I was put in touch with Sharon Shortland, support worker at Iprovision. Sharon was great - really helpful.
With Sharon’s assistance I was fortunate to receive an Iprovision disability grant which has contributed towards having my bathroom adapted.
This support has been transformative. I can now shower and wash myself – safely, with ease and with dignity.
Thank you Iprovision and thank you Sharon.
I contacted Iprovision after I had lost my job, and as it was nearing the Christmas period it was proving quite difficult to find a new one. As I live on my own, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet and didn’t know where to turn. I was looking through the CIPR website when I came across Iprovision and saw that they supported members going through difficult times.
I contacted Sharon and found her to be so helpful and understanding. She completely empathised with my situation and talked me through the process and what support they could offer. She talked me through the application form and kept in contact with me, sending me emails to check in with me. When she called to say they would provide me a grant it was such a relief.
I’ve now been offered a new role but will ever be grateful for the help and support from Sharon and Iprovision.
My life has been amazing. I have been blessed with much in my personal life - amazing friends and some fantastic relationships with lovely, kind people. My career has been rewarding, having held a number of senior positions in public sector communications and PR.
However, I hid away from letting anyone know the true me. People regarded me as a private and guarded person, but someone who had drive and ambition. But in reality, I have suffered from exceptionally low self-esteem and depression all of my life and I secretly battled to be happy. This eventually resulted in me becoming an addict which nearly ended my life.
It doesn’t matter what the substance is, addicts can use drugs, alcohol, food or sex and addiction is a disease that involves more than just substance misuse, addicts also use people. Some addicts believe that the disease of addiction was present long before the first time they used a substance. I believe this. Addicts do not choose to become addicts - it is something they are born with. Addicts suffer from a disease that expresses itself in ways that are often anti-social and in ways that can make detection, diagnosis, and treatment difficult.
At the end of May, 2017, I could see no way out of the life I had. The last few months had blurred into one as I lived in a paranoid world, full of fear of everything. I had become isolated from everyone in my life - or on the rare occasion a friend would catch me outside of my house, I had become adept at hiding the truth about what my life had actually become.
It was when I attempted suicide that I finally got the help I needed to pave my way to recovery. Friends rallied around and helped me to get into a clinic to start treatment. There was no local mental health provision available to me.
I was paying for treatment myself but didn't have enough money to complete the twelve weeks of treatment recommended by my consultant, as I had spent every penny I had, including the inheritance from my beloved father, on my addictions.
I have been a member of the CIPR for many years and I was aware of Iprovision. After making contact, the administrator helped me complete the paperwork to apply for funding and while I awaited a decision the fund granted me one week’s worth of treatment, and then another four weeks meaning I could stay for the full 12 weeks - the recommended treatment time.
I am so grateful for this. If I had left treatment too early I would have returned to active addiction. Being able to complete the full 12 weeks, helped me accept being an addict, build my self-esteem and provide me with the required spiritual experience. This I won't explain in full, but it is about believing that there is something greater than myself, that will guide me in life if I allow it to. This doesn't mean God and isn't religion.
One day I hope to make donations to pay back Iprovision, so they can continue their great work and help other CIPR members in their time of difficulty. Without the support I received from Iprovision I would not be in the position I am today, where I am starting to regain control over my life and I will be forever grateful for this support.
I urge all CIPR members to donate to Iprovision.
Colin's wife was a CIPR member and self-employed consultant. Colin tells his story here:
My wife and I both had our own businesses when she became ill with what turned out to be terminal cancer – and the impact on our household finances was dramatic and swift.
As a mother to our two young boys, things were very difficult for her as we were forced to manage on a reduced income. Her situation worsened, and it was not long before I had to give up work to care for the family.
My wife was a member of CIPR so we contacted Iprovision to see if there was any help that they could provide us with. I have to say that from our first contact with the administrator, and subsequent meetings with her, we received very sympathetic care and felt as if nothing was too much trouble.
With Iprovision’s help, we were able to make the best of things and enjoy the short time we had left together as a family. Up until the sad passing of my wife, and in the weeks to follow, they took away (or vastly reduced) our money worries at a time when there were more important things to concentrate on.
Since then, my sons and I are slowly rebuilding our lives. But we will never forget the help that Iprovision gave us when it was so badly needed and that helped us through an incredibly difficult time.
A longstanding member of the CIPR, working in a Senior Role in a prestigious PR agency, was diagnosed with cancer and contacted Iprovision because of concerns about paying the household bills as her income dropped due to time off work because of her illness. Iprovision provided regular support throughout.
"I don't know where I would be without the support from Iprovision. The financial help I received gave me some choices, and allowed me to focus on getting through my fairly gruelling treatment - and then recovery - without money worries. I have been a member of the CIPR for many years, getting involved in some of the groups, but I hadn't realised how much support there was for members when times get tough. Iprovision is a wonderful initiative."
A member for two years and Head of Communications for a large non-profit organisation. Had planned to return to work when her maternity leave ended, but her baby was diagnosed with leukaemia, necessitating her having to put that back.
Iprovision helped with funding a shortfall in bills and additional costs associated with hospital visits.
"When our baby was diagnosed with leukaemia while I was on maternity leave, our world was turned upside down. The various expenses associated with a long hospital stay and taking a few additional months off work meant we were faced with a situation whereby our income did not cover our outgoings. We are so grateful to Iprovision for the help it provided when we needed it most, not just financial support but also advice, encouragement and a friendly voice at the end of the phone."
Gillian, a successful PR consultant with young children, was diagnosed with late-stage cancer, resulting in major surgery and debilitating treatment. She and her husband (her carer) were both self-employed and couldn't work – their income collapsed and their home was at risk. Iprovision was able to help with the mortgage, home help and other essential costs allowing the family to be together at home in Gillian's final months.
Life changed for John, a senior PR executive, and his family after a car accident. He was on long-term sick and eventually paid off. John is keen to get back to work. Iprovision has assisted by linking him up with a specialist HR consultancy and a family grant to support his teenage son who has special needs.
Pat lost her PR job, her marriage broke down and Pat was in and out of hospital for several operations all within a year. With years of working in the voluntary sector, she had to move to a rented property. Iprovision awarded a one–off grant for essentials to set up her flat. "Thank you very much for the grant, it has really helped."
Laura, an independent PR, was confined to a wheelchair after a long and difficult period of ill health. No longer able to work, she asked Iprovision to help meet the costs of making her small garden accessible. Estimates were obtained and Iprovision awarded a one-off grant to enable the work to be carried out so that Laura would enjoy her garden again.
David retired some years ago from his PR business and was living on his state pension and very modest savings. His apartment block needed major repairs to the roof and windows and David got into serious debt, with his credit card company paying his share of the bill. In desperation, he contacted Iprovision and we put David in touch with a debt counsellor. With a one-off grant and debt advice, David was relieved of worry.
Liz was just completing her public relations diploma course, and, with family financial problems, was struggling to make ends meet. Iprovision was able to award a small grant to allow her to continue her studies and complete the course.
A one-off grant to purchase a suit, shirt and shoes to give a professional impression when attending interviews for a member returning to the workforce after a period of unemployment.
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