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Linda approached us for help in 2013, after a colleague pointed out the SBA’s ad in the Gazette. “I wasn’t keen,” she recalls, “I didn’t think it was for people like me.”

“If it wasn’t for the SBA, I would have lost my home”

Linda had always wanted to be a solicitor. She set about achieving her goal by joining a high street firm in a non-legal capacity and steadily working her way through to qualification and beyond. “I never thought it would happen,” she says. “My background is working class and I was the first person in my family to go to university. Law is not a cheap profession to join, but luckily my firm decided I was worth the investment.”

While making the leap from non-legal, Linda also needed to manage some long-term health issues, which had been up and down for over a decade. In 2013, her symptoms worsened and she was diagnosed with a debilitating chronic medical condition. Linda was forced to sign off sick for six months. The struggle to obtain benefits during this period proved to be a nightmare. Just at the time when Linda should have been concentrating on rest and recovery, she was faced with the very real prospect of losing her home.

“No one should feel that their life is in such a state that they can’t ask for help.”

Thankfully, the SBA was able to act quickly, acting as a financial bridge until the benefits finally came through. Linda herself says, “If it wasn’t for the SBA, I would have lost the house I love to call my home, as I simply couldn’t afford the rent.”

Linda has now been able to return to work part-time with the firm that originally spotted and nurtured her talent, but she has to take things slowly. Her illness means that she needs to take stock of every single activity to see what impact it has on her health. “This includes things we all tend to do without thinking about it, like brushing your teeth or making the bed. It’s taken a bit of getting used to.”

She adds, “It was a huge relief not to have to stress about money. No one should feel that their life is in such a state that they can’t ask for help when they really need it. The SBA recognised me as an individual and offered so much more than I could have dreamed. I didn’t expect such kindness.”

We change the names & images of our beneficiaries to protect their identity

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