We've joined forces with Turn2us, the national charity fighting UK poverty, to help people prevent a life shock becoming a crisis.
Unexpected life shocks, such as redundancy, illness or losing a loved one, can often have a big impact on our finances and pull people into financial hardship. One in three UK adults (17.6 million people) say they wouldn’t be able to manage without their income, or cope financially, in the event of a life shock.
Any one of us could experience a shock that affects us financially, no matter our situation. Watch our video with singer, actor and presenter Duncan James and self-employed chef Ryan Fisher to hear how life shocks have led them to financial hardship, and how Turn2us’ support helped to get Ryan back on his feet.
DUNCAN JAMES: So, my name is Duncan James. I was very lucky to get into a band called Blue at the age of 21. 22 was when we released our first song and then I got my first proper paycheque.
So, for me, the most important thing was to make sure I looked after my mum. I’m an only child, I’ve never met my dad in my life. So, my family is literally just me and my mum and the first thing I wanted to do was, at the time, buy my mum a house. And I was able to buy myself a flat just down the road from where my mum lived as well.
And then the recession came and I was really starting to panic because Blue had come to an end, my money wasn’t coming in like it used to be. We all had to go bankrupt. Literally I lost everything in the bankruptcy and it was a really really tough year. I’d gone from coming from nothing really and then overnight success and going to losing it all. I wish in hindsight I had known about some charities that could have helped me or just given me some advice.
RYAN FISHER: My name’s Ryan Fisher and I’m a freelance chef. Life before the pandemic was really good. There was a lot of work around. Chefs were in great demand in England. I was doing really well. I was in an ongoing position, so I wasn’t even searching for work.
The pandemic really affected my income because obviously we went into a lockdown and as soon as we went into the lockdown, work came to a complete standstill, so from that moment on, I was no longer able to earn any money.
Unfortunately, I’m not covered under either of the main government schemes and I’m expected to live on basic universal credit, which is nowhere near enough to fund my lifestyle with my bills and my daughter and everything that needs to be paid out. So, it’s put me into massive financial difficulty.
The hardest one for me is my nine-year-old daughter because she doesn’t live with me. I go to see her when I can, but obviously with the pandemic there’s been real travel restrictions, so not only have I not been able to see her, with the lack of work as well I’ve also not been able to pay for her, which if I’m really really honest has just made me just feel incredibly guilty. I feel like a little bit of a failure because I’m not really providing as much as I should for her or being there as much as I should for her. And I’ve no choice, the government has asked me to do this. So, I find that quite hard if I’m honest.
So, the Turn2us charity have been absolutely amazing for me. They’ve been a great support, not only in the beginning when I was financially struggling and not knowing which way to turn, obviously they were giving out grants at the time and I received a grant, so that helped me financially. But they were also really good sort of emotional support, if you could call it that. I think in a situation like that, where you’ve got nowhere to turn and you don’t know what to do, I think just someone helping you is just, I was just really, really, really grateful for that. It was fantastic.
If you’re struggling, I really suggest not wasting any time and contacting the Turn2us charity to help.
DUNCAN JAMES: We’re also asking you for help as well. If you are in a position where you can help, please go to the Turn2us website and kindly donate what you can.
Give the gift of hope
Last year was a difficult time for all of us, and still is for so many. But while we’re all weathering the same storm, we’re not all in the same boat. 14.2 million people live in poverty in the UK. There are thousands of families who simply don’t have enough money to get by, struggling to put food on the table, pay bills, or keep a roof over their heads.
The festive season can make people’s problems and financial worries even worse. For some, it might mean struggling to buy gifts for their children. For others it means not being able to heat their homes or buy the most basic provisions.
With your support we can change that.
At Christmas, Turn2us awarded cash grants to those who were eligible, putting money directly into the pockets of people whose financial situations have changed and who are struggling to keep their heads above water. By standing together we can give hope and provide a lifeline to families around the country at Christmas time.
- £20 could help fund an hour of a Turn2us caseworker’s time in supporting a vulnerable person to find the financial help they might be able to get
- £40 could enable a parent to put healthy food on the table for their children
- £100 could allow children to go to school wearing clean clothes by supporting a family to afford a washing machine
Support if you're struggling
The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the biggest shocks we’ve faced as a society, bringing a devastating impact on health, but also job losses, pay cuts and uncertainty for so many. So, it’s more important than ever to know where to seek support if you need it.
Turn2us helps financially vulnerable people to get access to benefits, grants and support services. If you’re struggling, don't wait until it's too late.
- Visit the website: www.turn2us.org.uk
- Call the free helpline: 0808 802 2000 (open 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday)
More about our partnership
At Royal London, we believe we’re mutually responsible for the wellbeing of our customers, their families and their communities. Through our social impact commitments, products and services, we’re already helping customers to prevent life shocks from becoming a crisis and supporting them through difficult times. But we want to reach more people who need help and make a longer lasting impact – and we believe our collaboration with Turn2us is key to achieving this.
Together, we want to build a society where everyone has the tools, support and resilience they need to recover from a life shock.