Last edited 13 Aug 2019

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ECA Institute / association Website

Employee assistance programme EAP

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A cancer diagnosis can turn a person’s world upside down – emotionally, physically and financially. This is the time when support from the industry can make a tremendous difference to those who are struggling to cope.

Every year through its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is funded by powerLottery, the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) ensures that those who are experiencing difficulties following a cancer diagnosis are getting all the support they need to focus on their health and mental wellbeing by offering them a wide range of services including financial and emotional support.

One of many examples where EIC was able to be the first port of call and offer their support is Scott, an experienced electrician from Scotland who was struggling both financially and emotionally following a devastating terminal cancer diagnosis.

In June 2018, Scott was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, a rare and incurable form of cancer. They develop from cells of the neuroendocrine system, which are found in organs such as the stomach, bowel and lungs.

Scott was referred to EIC by a Macmillan Welfare Advisor after struggling financially during his chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.

Due to his illness, Scott had only expected to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). However, his employer stepped in during this challenging time and offered to pay Scott his basic salary for three months as well as giving him access to a company car. His employer was also a member of the Joint Industry Board (JIB) Scheme which meant that Scott was eligible for JIB financial assistance.

Despite this, as soon as the three months were up, Scott’s financial situation started to spiral out of control. Once Scott completed his chemotherapy and was due to begin radiotherapy treatment, he was no longer receiving his basic salary and his only income was the funds received from JIB, which resulted in him struggling to pay his rent. To allow Scott to focus on his treatment, EIC offered him a £1,000 grant to help with his rent and arranged to continue reassessing his financial situation until he was able to return to work.

In January 2019, Scott applied for Universal Credit as he was no longer receiving SSP and was struggling to pay his bills ahead of his phased return to work in February 2019. EIC offered Scott a £250 grant to help with his day-to-day living costs during this period as it is often the final days before returning to employment that are the hardest ones. Scott is now back at work and has recovered well following his treatments.

A diagnosis of terminal cancer is a stressful and life-changing event for the person diagnosed and for their entire family, with psychological, financial, social and emotional challenges. During this time, support from the industry can make a real difference to an individual’s quality of life.

Readers can show their support by becoming a partner of EAP or by taking part in powerLottery today and help EIC turn around the lives of hundreds of people within the electrical sector in their times of crisis.

If readers know anybody who has been affected by cancer and requires support, they may contact the EIC support team: [email protected].

For further information or to show support for those who are struggling during their cancer journey, sign up to EIC’s Employee Assistance Programme by contacting Jess Vailima: [email protected]

[edit] About this article

This article was written by Tessa Ogle, Managing Director of the Electrical Industries Charity. It was previously published under the title 'A helping hand in tough times' on the website of the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) in July 2019 and can be accessed here.

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