Mary Smith

A man and women face the camera, hugging, with oven gloves and kitchen towels hanging on the wall behind them.

Over 50s life insurance customer, Mary Smith from Macclesfield, gave up working when her husband Charlie, also a customer, had a stroke in April 2010. Left paralysed down his left side and suffering from various other conditions, including epilepsy and emphysema, Charlie needs constant care and relies on Mary to do even basic things, including walking.

This has put significant financial strain on the couple, who have adapted their home for Charlie’s condition. Understandably, Charlie was concerned about Mary using an old gas cooker and therefore applied to the Foundation in order to replace it with a safer, new electric oven.

“Charlie had his stroke at just 56 and it has had a massive impact on our lives. I miss work and we’ve both found life since the stroke incredibly isolating and difficult. All of our money has gone into Charlie’s care, from special chairs and equipment to physiotherapy and respite care. Replacing anything else in our home has meant a lot of saving.”

Mary continued: “[Without the grant] we’d have been waiting a couple of years to replace our old gas oven, which was in a bad way. It was temperamental and caused us problems, on top of those we’re already dealing with. The Personal Grant has given us something really special. It may seem like a small thing to ask for, but it has made a massive difference to us.”