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Lynn’s story- financial support through Lightning Reach

British Gas Energy Trust partnered with Lightning Reach at the start of 2024, to help provide clients with access to over 2,500 support schemes they may be eligible for.

Lightning Reach is a support portal that can help individuals in financial hardship find charitable grants, funding from their local council, and help with their bills, all in one place.

Since the start of the partnership, over 590 people have visited the portal, with 100% of those who completed their profiles being matched with support.

On average, each portal user is matched to around 40 schemes that may be suitable for them. Over £52,000 has been identified in potential benefits, with a further £18,000 in support schemes across the UK.

One person to get support was Lynn*. After developing bipolar disorder, Lynn found she could no longer work full time, getting into credit card debt to cover her daily costs. Struggling with energy arrears, she decided to seek help.

Lynn said:

“I was looking to see how British Gas [Energy Trust] could help with my gas bills and saw a link to Lightning Reach. Reading about Lightning Reach, I thought it was going to be too good to be true. I didn’t expect anything but thought I would give it a go.

“I was really pleasantly surprised at the amount of different organisations that help people with different things and circumstances, people are not aware of all of this. I didn’t know any of this support existed!”

Due to her past experience working in a newsagents, Lynn was able to receive £1,000 towards her energy debts from NewstrAid, an organisation who supports individuals and family members who have worked in the sale or distribution of newspapers and magazines in the UK. She is now working part-time and able to manage her day-to-day costs moving forward.

She added:

” With being bipolar and the stresses that come with that, receiving that help was amazing. I had never been in debt before, so it took so much pressure off me, it really did. It lifted my mood and made me more proactive. I can be more organised with my money, which is brilliant. I’m even saving a little bit now, which I’m putting towards Christmas.”

To find support schemes you may be eligible for, please click here.

*Name changed to protect her identity.