“In 2009, my life changed dramatically. I was working for a bank in the Caribbean, having a great time, when I found out I had cancer. I had to leave my job and move back to London for treatment.
My four children who I adore were up in Scotland with my ex-wife. I was in my late sixties, alone, unwell and getting quite depressed.
I’d become a student member of the IET in the sixties when I studied electronic engineering at Southampton University. I’d kept up my membership throughout my career, even when I’ve worked abroad. So when I called to pay my renewal fees and I told them I wasn’t working, they suggested I contact IET Connect.
My caseworker came to visit and discuss my situation. She had such a caring attitude. I’d finally found someone I could really talk to.
It was wonderful to hear I could get a monthly grant to cover the cost of visiting my kids and some other bills. IET Connect doesn’t just think about money, they’re really in tune with people’s emotional needs. The warm gestures, like a card and gift on my birthday, are so much more than you’d expect from a professional body. They’re more like family. And when you have a terminal illness, the emotional support is worth a thousand times more than financial benefit.
I’m a very self-sufficient person. I’ve always worked hard and looked after myself without asking anyone for anything. On this occasion, I needed support, and it was just amazing the extent to which IET Connect extended a hand. It’s made a huge difference to my life and I’m enormously grateful to everyone there.”
*The story is in their own words but the name has been changed.