“Without Marsha I wouldn’t have had a clue what do to – her help has been brilliant.”

Alan has been an outpatient at Trinity for almost 3 years. Here he and Marsha, Trinity’s Welfare Rights Advisor, share their story of how Trinity’s practical support has helped him continue to live every moment. 

Marsha: “I am here to help everybody: outpatients, inpatients and people in the community with benefit applications, concessionary travel applications, advocacy work, housing advice and debt management.

I met Alan in one of my clinics. He explained that he needed to re-apply for his disability benefit and wanted some help and advice.

For Alan, if he had lost this, he would also lose his mobility scooter which enables him to get out and about, come to Trinity for outpatient groups and to meet friends.

I helped Alan fill out the necessary forms and accompanied him to his assessment. My purpose there was to be an ear and to listen and take notes to make sure the report was fair, and thankfully they did award him his benefits. So I was very happy!

This is just one of the things I do for patients and their families. . .

I also help people with rehousing, and without this service, for those living in inappropriate housing, they would just stay there. Life would be horrendous. 

Without things like concessionary travel a lot of people would basically be imprisoned in their homes with no real quality of life and no money, they would be in poverty.

The welfare and benefits service can help people with all of this; they just need to come through the door.

We want to help people to continue living. We ensure that whatever time people have left, they can do what they want with it, whether this is getting out and about, having extra money, just needing to talk, relax or laugh - there will always be somebody here.”

Alan: “I’ve been coming to Trinity for about three years now and I use my mobility scooter to get here. I’ve taken part in almost every group and every therapy. I sometimes just come here to sit in the café for lunch with one or two of my friends, we just gossip and talk and eat and drink.

It’s a safe place where we can talk about anything at all.

It’s my spine that’s degenerating, everywhere. My cancer’s under control but it’s my skeleton that’s wearing out. So it was really important I got the document I needed – if I didn’t get the rate I needed my scooter would have been taken away.

I felt so confident knowing Marsha was with me on the assessment day. Without her sitting down with me and going through the forms - without her guidance -  I wouldn’t have had a clue.

All the things that happen here are all for our benefit, for patients. You can get advice, you can get help, exercise, yoga, company. Once you walk in the door you realise what a safe, warm and loving place it is.

The reality is that often people are short of time, so they’ve got to make the most of it, and Trinity is the very place to do that.”