Help at Christmas, support for life.

18 December, 2023

This year, like every year since our foundation in 1864, the Journalists’ Charity has helped to keep food on the table and a roof over head for many journalists struggling through tough times.

Thanks to your support, we’re still helping journalists and former journalists of all ages, from all sectors when life deals a blow.

Here are some real stories from the hundreds of journalists we’ve helped this year alone.

Stephen is a freelance writer from the North-East, who like many self-employed journalists, was severely affected by the impact of the pandemic. The financial strain caused his marriage to break down and he’s been left with various debts. Since contacting the charity, we’ve been supporting Stephen to get his finances back on track, awarding financial assistance to deal with priority arrears.

“Thanks so much for helping me get to my life back together again, this is such great news. Your support will help me to pay priority debts and escape from this dreadful chapter in my life.”

Sophina is a senior journalist with years’ of news experience at a major broadcast network. After learning her role was unexpectedly coming to an end, Sophina contacted the charity worried for the future of her family, including her three school age children. Sophina’s outgoings reflect the typical cost of family life in London, and she was desperate for help to give her the time and space to find a new job. After applying for support, we gave Sophina the funds she needed to avoid going further into debt, paying for essential bills and food whilst she found work again.

“I am absolutely gob smacked and extremely humbled to receive this help – thank you for fighting my corner when I’ve been terrified of losing our home and worrying about how on earth we were going to pay our bills. With heartfelt thanks and gratitude.”

Susan has been working in journalism for decades, but early onset Alzheimer’s has left her shut out of the only world she’s ever known. Susan’s son made contact with the charity to ask if there was a way we could assist. So far, we’ve helped to pay some the debts Susan incurred when she had to stop work, and you can rest assured that we’ll stay in touch with Susan’s family to provide any help and assistance we can in the future.

This is fantastic news and such a relief. Heartfelt thanks from me and my mum, this will be a massive help.”

Tim is a digital journalist from Wales. When he lost his job during early 2023, Tim got in touch desperately worried about how he was going to support his family and his two young children. The charity reassured Tim that it would help prevent him falling into debt, covering essential bills whilst giving him the time and space to secure work.

“I can’t tell you how much this means to me. The charity has restored my faith in a lot of things. You’ve helped me in such a short time frame and given me the breathing space I need to sort things out. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. Your existence in the world really does make a huge difference when it’s needed most.”

Hilal has worked as a journalist in London for almost a decade but when she lost her full-time job she was struggling to make ends meet and got in touch fearful for her future. After providing guidance around training and skills options, the charity awarded financial support to help Hilal to secure accommodation whilst looking for a new role.

“I simply cannot express my gratitude to the Journalists’ Charity for being there for me when every other door was closed. This is a wonderful chance for me to continue in the industry I love, and I am now looking forward to finding a new place to live and a new job when I had absolutely NOWHERE else to turn. Thank you.”

Kevin was a photojournalist and picture editor with a national publisher in Scotland for 25 years until he was made redundant. He came to us desperately worried about his future with bills to pay and two secondary age children to provide for. We paid those bills and got him into the black again, giving him chance to reforge his career and start again without the stress and fear of financial hardship.

Thank you for the terrific news of the financial assistance which has really lifted a great weight and has brought tears to my wife’s eyes.  I simply cannot begin to describe how grateful we are.

Simon is a lifelong journalist from London who had to stop work several years ago due to major health problems. He and his wife now live on benefits, and they were starting to slide into debt. When Simon got in touch with the charity, he was clearly extremely anxious and reticent about asking for support. After spending time trying to reassure him, we carefully guided Simon through a range of support options as well as providing urgent support to cover debts.

“My wife and I would like to express our sincerest thanks for your generous and timely award. We are humbled by this kind gesture, but feel relieved that this current chapter of our lives may now be a little easier to bear. Thank you. I read Charles Dickens’ novels at university, and it has always stayed with me how he championed the lives and dignity of all members of society. We are truly grateful for your decision. The spirit of your charity’s founder is alive and well!”

If you’d like to spread some good will to others, you can kindly donate here.