Meet Lisa

Lisa Brabrook and her family were struggling financially after she had to stop working as a teacher folllowing a diagnosis of leukaemia. This is when our Grants Caseworker, Carl, stepped in to help. 

I became a mature, full-time student in September 2010 and was awarded a BSc (Hons) Mathematics in July 2013. I decided I wanted to teach so went on to a PGCE course and qualified as a teacher of Mathematics in July 2014.

I began a teaching job in September 2014. I felt so privileged to teach and really enjoyed my job. 

Leukaemia diagnosis

Unfortunately in July 2015 I received some bad news about my health. I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia. I began chemotherapy treatment immediately and was therefore unable to work. My treatment finished at the end of 2015 but I then developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (not uncommon after chemotherapy). 

My husband (who is also a teacher) really struggled to cope with my illness and had to give up his job to care for me and our two children.

As I had not been employed at the school for a full year when I was diagnosed, I received only 5 weeks full pay, 10 weeks half pay and then £88.45 per week in Statutory Sick Pay. This ended in December 2015 and I had to claim benefits to support our family. The process took a long time and left us struggling to meet our financial commitments as our income did not cover our rent, bills and basic living expenses. 

This was a major cause of stress, anxiety and worry for me, at a time when I needed to rest and recover. 

Call for help

A colleague told me about Education Support Partnership and the you offer education staff. I hoped you could help so called the helpline number who put me in touch with Grants Caseworker Carl Hanser. 

Carl, was fantastic. He assessed my grant application quickly and arranged for me to be awarded a much needed grant to pay rent and essential bills. He also signposted me to other services and charitable trusts that could offer additional help. 

The help myself and my family received made such a difference to our lives at a really difficult time. We are so grateful as we could have ended up homeless and in debt without the support from the Education Support Partnership.    

Looking to the future 

The good news is I am now in remission from the leukaemia and have returned to work full time. I have lost 14 stone and exercise regularly and am fitter and healthier than I have ever been! 

My husband has a new job and we are, once again, financially secure.   

I cannot thank Carl enough for the help and support he gave me. It meant that we could survive throughout my illness and I could concentrate on getting well and not worrying about accruing debts. Once again, thank you so much to the Education Support Partnership, it really means a lot.

How we can help

Our confidential grants service is here to help you manage your financial and money worries to get you back on track when you are struggling.

If you are working in or retired from the education sector and are suffering financial problems caused by unemployment, ill health, sudden life events, bereavement or a personal injury we may be able to offer support.

Please visit our grants page to find out more and apply.