Michelle's Story

As the breadwinner in a single income family, the economic pressure of the last three to four years was extremely stressful for me. Though I remained employed as a Chartered Landscape Architect, the increasing cost of living left my income far behind and I found myself in a worrying financial position – one I never thought I'd be in as a working professional, and a mother.

After years of struggling, someone at the benefits advisory charity Turn2Us referred me to the Architects Benevolent Society and suggested I apply for a support grant to help my family stay afloat. I'm very glad I did.

The ABS Welfare Team got in touch immediately to assess our situation and offer us the right kind of help. Having assumed that there is no help available for working professionals like me, it was a huge relief to hear that there is.

Since the first meeting, the ABS has supported me – and my family – for more than 2 years, bringing financial relief and funding for the basic upkeep of our home. This helped me deal with the overwhelming stress and worry, giving me the peace of mind and space to think rationally and plan for the future.

Their help has even gone beyond my family, impacting the lives of my friends, my extended family and particularly my parents and brother, who were keen to support us but simply did not have the means to do so.

The ABS has helped my young daughter too, as she had become increasingly aware of our financial struggles – now she says she feels like we have an angel or a fairy godmother watching over us! Because of the ABS' additional Christmas gift, I was able to plan and budget to give my daughter the Christmas gift of a trip to London where she visited museums and saw the sights; it was what I consider to be a valuable cultural experience and one which I would not ordinarily be in a position to give her.

I am profoundly grateful for the help and support provided by the Architect's Benevolent Society. I hope one day to be able to give back and help others in our profession who need support, just like I did.

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