Financial Support, any ideas?

Hi everyone,

I am just looking for other people's knowledge please.

As many of you know, I started my latest and worst ever flare up just over 3 years ago. Before the flare up, I was an avid walker and chose not to have a car for financial reasons and health reasons. When it all started, I relied on colleagues at work to give me a lift as some of my work places are 2 miles away. These lifts carried on for a year and as still no sign of a calm down I bought a car. As soon as my asthma was calm enough I began working at an agency in the holidays (I work term time) to fund my car as I really can't afford it on my single wage. I am single with a mortgage etc...

Fast forward to the present day. I am struggling right now, like others with the pollen and the weather and this year so far I haven't been well enough to work at the agency. I am already in the 3rd week of the summer hols. Are there any grants out there for people with variable conditions who need a car to get to work because of their condition. I really feel in a catch 22.

I am planning on seeing my GP in August to touch base regarding my asthma and am wondering if I should mention it to him, what do you think?

Edit: Just to add, I have had periods when I can walk for leisure (up to 5 miles on my best day) but I have to pick my day and ensure I carry very little in my rucksack. I have not returned to my pre-flare up level of asthma yet and am unable to walk to even the closest workplace with the weight of my work rucksack.

9 Replies

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  • Im afraid I dont know of anything.. what about an electric bike for work? Cheaper than a car and no running costs - and also gives you a tiny bit of exercise. I find I can use an electric bike unless I am literally unable to get off the sofa, as on top whack it does all the work for you (and is quite fun!) - so even if Im at the point of using my mobility scooter cos I cant walk, I can usually use my bike (though not in all places, hence the scooter).

    Up until I tried one this year, I hadnt cycled for over 20 years as my lungs are so crap, and I cant walk for long now (small airways flow is down to 11% of predicted) but using one has been really liberating, I am hoping to buy one at some point. At the moment, we occasionally hire them and cycle around Carsington water, around 8 miles :) (or at least, the bike takes me round!).

    Hope that may be of use..

  • Ooh now there's an idea I hadn't thought of, thank you nursefurby. How much effort do you need to use one as I was still having zero ability days before my summer blip? I know nothing about them. I also live in a hilly town.

  • Hiya, well, my lungs are dire. Aside from what I said above, I only have 25% lung volume due to severe scoliosis, so have to work much harder than people with normal sized lungs to meet demand. On a good day I can walk a very slow two miles on the flat with constant stopping. Those days are rare. My hubby piggybacks me up hills lol.

    When we first tried the bike, the guy in the hire place explained the three speeds - eco, normal, turbo (most have three electric speeds plus gears) and said you will only need the turbo for going up hills, most of the time you will only need eco. Carsington water route is quite hilly and so I had it in turbo most of the time. Of course I got a bit out of breath - no surprise, since doing the housework creases me! But it was comfortably doable and I was really chuffed. :)

    DO look into them though, they do vary - in price, number of speeds available, and how much work you have to do to get it to kick in (some need you to pedal a bit like the one I used at Carsington, some will just take you without really pedalling). Im going to look into whether I can get one VAT free as I get disability benefits.

    I dont know where you live, but a really good place to try loads of them out, is the Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham - Ive tried lots out there (they have a huge outdoor track with a 'hill') so have some idea of what I want when I can afford it. Alternatively a lot of shops have spaces where you can try them. Of course they are cheaper than a car, but compared to a normal bike they aren't cheap. But if you're wanting to sell your car hopefully it would give you some leeway to consider one :)

  • You are really getting me interested lol. I love cycling but just got rid of my bicycle as I can't do it any more but hadn't thought of electric ones. I am not near Birmingham but could get there and back in a day on the trains. Will look into it when I have some cash.

    Unfortunately, selling my car is not an option as my workplace have recently opened 2 places 12 miles away and as it is nights, no public transport. And changing jobs isn't an option right now as they are very accommodating and supportive of my situation and the job is not too physical.

  • Im really keen to buy one - and I NEVER thought I would ever be back on a bike! Its a funny experience because when Im using it, I feel free, and I havent felt like that since a kid. Then I get off and start walking again, and its like, oh PANTS!

    Good to hear your workplace is supportive :)

  • It'll be like a new toy!! But both practical and leisure...

    I really miss cycling too but do hope I will get back to my pre-flare up health asthma-wise and fitness eventually. (Fingers crossed!) Thanks again for suggesting one as it has given me an idea for the future xx

  • :) xx

  • Depending on how much you earn, there are working tax credits and other benefits that you might be eligible for. Might be worth a trip into the job centre to find out.

    A few years ago my partner had a nasty accident and couldn't walk or work for a year, I was earning about £750 a month which wasn't enough to pay the bills, mortgage and food so I went into the job centre and they were really helpful.

  • Hi Lou,

    I earn too much to get working tax credit. I hadn't thought of going to the job centre though, thanks, it's worth a try.

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