Beneficiary stories

Here are a few examples of people in the news trade who we have helped recently.


Financial Help

Tim had worked in newspaper distribution for 30 years when he was made redundant. Although he managed to get some part-time work at a local supermarket his health problems and subsequent medical appointments were making it difficult to pick up enough shifts to cover his bills. After seeing an advert in the local newspaper he contacted NewstrAid to see if he would be eligible for any financial support.

After assessing his financial situation, it was evident that Tim was experiencing hardship and his long trade connection meant that he was eligible for support. A one-off grant was awarded from our In Work Support Scheme to help address rent and utility arrears that had built up, and regular grants were awarded to help him meet living costs, going forward.


Emotional Support

Jasmine contacted NewstrAid after being advised to do so by her shop manager after she was threatened with a knife during an armed robbery in her store. Following the ordeal she suffered panic attacks and mental health issues and so had been signed off work.

After assessing her application for help the Welfare Team were able to offer funding for 6 therapy sessions with Anxiety UK as part of NewstrAid’s Anxiety Support package. Following these sessions, Jasmine advised us that she felt she had recovered well and did not require any further sessions. She was very grateful for the support we had given her during a very difficult time.


Advice & Signposting

Sue contacted NewstrAid after seeing information about the charity on the Turn2Us website. She was unable to work due to poor health. Sue was looking for financial help whilst she wasn’t working. Having discussed her work history it became obvious to the welfare team that Sue did not have any connection to the sale and distribution of newspapers and magazines and so would not be eligible for help from NewstrAid. However, the team were able to give her some guidance around state benefits available to her and having discovered that she had a background in Advertising provided her with contact details for the advertising charity who would be able to offer her additional help and support.


Support Schemes

Rishi contacted NewstrAid, after being informed about the charity by a family friend. A fire had recently destroyed his parent’s convenience store and they were currently unable to trade. They had spoken to the insurance company but it did not look like they would be getting any compensation and they had 3 dependent children to look after.

After reviewing their application form it was evident to the welfare team that this family were facing real hardship.

Due to the nature of the case and the fact dependent children were involved, NewstrAid were able to award a hardship grant from our Fresh Start Assist fund to help with living costs whilst they tried to get their business back up and running.


Debt Advice

Michael found employment as a driver for a newspaper wholesaler, after a period of unemployment. However, he was struggling to manage personal debt that had built up while he was out of work. After contacting NewstrAid the welfare team suggested he contact the free Debt Advice helpline to get some confidential guidance on how best to manage his debts. A personal household budget was also provided to enable him to manage his repayment plan and live within his means.

Bill and June

Regular Benefit

Bill and June were self-employed newsagents for 25 years. When they retired, they sold their business and used the proceeds along with their savings to buy a small flat. However, they found it difficult to make ends meet on their state pensions. The welfare team were able to advise on what other state benefits they were entitled to claim and, due to low household income, regular grants were also awarded to help them meet ongoing living costs. They also benefited from regular almoner home visits which provided personal support.


Help for Children

Rachael was forced to take extended maternity leave after her baby was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. A reduced income and mounting travel expenses for hospital visits meant that the family were struggling financially.

After a full financial assessment, NewstrAid awarded Rachael with a grant from the ACE Children’s Fund to help meet family costs during this very difficult time. She was also given state benefit advice to help the family maximise their income.


One-off grant (Regular beneficiary)

Having been taken into hospital following a fall that broke both her ankles, Jean very sadly contracted Covid-19 and was extremely poorly for some time. Although she was eventually discharged and slowly started to recover from the virus, the steel plates that had been fitted in both her ankles following the fall meant that her feet would no longer fit into any of her shoes. Jean was already a NewstrAid regular beneficiary and so contacted the welfare team to see if there was any additional financial help available for her to purchase some new specialist footwear.

The NewstrAid Welfare Committee reviewed her case and agreed to provide her with a one-off grant so that she could purchase the new orthopaedic shoes she was so desperately in need of.


Coronavirus Help

Nick contacted NewstrAid after he was made redundant due to the covid-19 pandemic. His family were claiming state benefits but were soon to be subject to the benefit cap and were struggling to make ends meet. In addition, his children were struggling with home schooling during the lockdown as they had no access to a computer.

After a full financial assessment, NewstrAid were able to award him a one-off grant to purchase a laptop which allowed his children to continue their schoolwork at home and also allowed him to access online resources, retrain and apply for new employment. In addition, once the schools re-opened, the family were awarded an ACE children’s grant to purchase new school uniforms.

Ali & Bisma

One-off grant

After a fire destroyed their family home and everything inside it, retired newsagents Ali and Bisma had to move into temporary accommodation which was completely unfurnished. They contacted NewstrAid to see if there was any help they could get whilst they waited for their home to be repaired. Following a financial assessment, NewstrAid were able to offer them a one-off grant to purchase a washing machine, cooker and fridge freezer.

What it means to those NewstrAid helps