Beneficiary stories

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

NB All beneficiary names have been changed.


Help for Hobbies

Priya had worked in a shop selling newspapers for several years and approached NewstrAid as she was finding it hard to pay her bills as well as her son’s football subs. It was a very difficult decision having to choose whether to put food on the table or allow her child to continue playing football which he so enjoyed.

As part of the Help for Hobbies scheme, £250 was awarded which will allow Priya’s son to continue playing football for another year.


In-work Support

Vasant had been working in the newstrade for several years until ill health forced him to take some time away. With many hospital appointments and bills piling up, he was finding it difficult to get by.

After contacting NewstrAid, he was awarded a grant from our In-work Support scheme to help meet living costs whilst he took time off work to recover.


Support for Victims of Crime

Shop Assistant, Syeda, was on long term sick leave following an armed robbery that took place whilst she was working. She was struggling to cope both financially and emotionally following the experience. The trauma she faced at the shop was having a long-term effect on her mental health and she felt she could not return to work.

NewstrAid were able to fund a series of counselling sessions for Syeda to help her come to terms with her experience and move forward. In addition, and following a full financial assessment, she was awarded regular benefit and some one off grants to help with rent arears and general hardship whilst she was unable to work.


Cost of Living Support

Father of four, Gus, contacted us because it was getting more and more difficult to meet all his monthly bills and ensure that there was enough food for the family to eat. He often fell into his overdraft at the end of the month and was having to weigh up which costs to cut in order to ensure he did not fall behind on bills.

After reviewing his completed application form, NewstrAid was able to award £250 to the family from the Cost of Living Crisis Fund. The welfare team also signposted Gus and his wife to the Debt Advice Foundation, for budgeting advice and to the Wellbeing Suite for practical and wellbeing advice for the family.


Regular Financial Support

Peter had a very long trade connection until a life changing accident put a sudden stop to his work. Due to his ill health and immobility, his flat required costly wheelchair-friendly adjustments and appliances adapted for wheelchair users.

Having heard about NewstrAid from a colleague he contacted us to see if there was any help we could offer him. After assessing his needs and reviewing his financial situation we were able to award regular financial benefit, as well as provide funding for essential new appliances to his recently modified flat.


Benefits Advice

After working in the family newsagents for a number of years, Sarah was sadly diagnosed with cancer. Now, on a low income, the family were struggling to cope with finances whilst also dealing with the cancer diagnosis.

NewstrAid were able to give advice on which benefits the family were entitled to and provide access to the free Wellbeing Helpline and the many online resources available through our Wellbeing website to help them cope during Sarah’s illness.


Cost of Living Support

Mo has worked for a wholesaler for 19 years. His wife has recently been diagnosed with cancer and is currently unable to work. The couple and their young son live in a rented flat and were finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Mo read about NewstrAid’s Cost of Living Crisis Fund and contacted us for help.

Following completion of an application form Mo was successfully awarded £250 from the Cost of Living Crisis Fund. The NewstrAid Welfare Committee also recommended that he undergo a financial assessment for an additional grant of £250 from the ACE Children’s Fund to help with child related costs.


Health & Wellbeing Support

Retailer Chrissie had a serious fall and broke bones in both her ankles. Since the fall she had been suffering from muscle and bone weakness which required medication and regular treatment. Her surgeon advised her to build the muscles in her legs, so she contacted NewstrAid to find out if we could offer any help.

We advised Chrissie to sign up to our Wellbeing Website to access all the free resources, videos and podcasts relating to exercise and strengthening muscles. She was also encouraged to set up her own ‘Fitness plan’ using the ‘Insights’ feature on the website in order to tailor the exercises to her ability and needs.


Help for Hobbies

Philip’s parents ran a family owned Newsagents whilst he was growing up. The family ran into financial difficulties when mental health issues stopped his parents from being able to work.  After a full financial review, NewstrAid were able to provide the family with regular benefit and help with the cost of Philips cricket equipment and cricket tour fees so that he didn’t miss out. This support can now be applied for though our Help for Hobbies Scheme. Read what Philip feels about the support he received as a child here.


In-Work Support & ACE Children’s Grant

Layla currently works for a wholesaler and has a young child to support. She contacted NewstrAid as she was struggling to make ends meet and had reduced her hours to care for her child. Her young son was growing quickly and needed new clothes and shoes. She had fallen behind on her mortgage repayments and was also struggling to pay for her gas and electricity bills. Following a financial assessment, NewstrAid were able to award a grant from the In-Work Support scheme to address the arrears and a grant from the ACE children’s fund to help pay for some new clothes and shoes for Layla’s son.


One-off grant

Sophie works for a newspaper distribution company and contacted NewstrAid to ask for financial assistance. She has a teenage daughter and her rent and energy bills had dramatically increased. Her own health issues and stress were taking their toll, and she was finding it very difficult to keep out of debt. Additionally, she was in need of a new washing machine. After a full financial assessment, NewstrAid were able to award a grant from the In Work Support fund to order a new washing machine and award a Samaritan grant to clear her rent arrears.


Advice & Signposting

John knew of NewstrAid through his newsagency and wanted to know if we could provide any assistance. His business had suffered during the pandemic and this in turn was causing him to fall behind on his personal bills. NewstrAid were able to give advice on which benefits he may be entitled to and also signposted him to other organisations such as the Debt Advice Foundation and the Spectrum Life Wellbeing Suite.


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.


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.


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.


Wellbeing Suite

Annie was on long term sick leave and still recovering from cancer when she found herself overwhelmed with sorting things out for her house, her bills etc. She also had children to care for. NewstrAid’s welfare team advised her to make use of the NewstrAid Wellbeing Suite which includes a free helpline with 24/7 access to a trained counsellor and a website featuring a wide range of resources including mental health support, lifestyle guidance, and debt advice.


State Benefits Advice

When Charlie was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease it turned his family upside down. Facing uncertainty for their future, the family were unsure of which benefits they were now entitled to and how they should go about applying. A member of our welfare team was able to guide and support the family on which benefits they should be receiving. The family are now in receipt of a number of different state benefits which will hopefully alleviate some of the uncertainty they are experiencing during this incredibly difficult time.

What it means to those NewstrAid helps