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David's story

David turned to us for help at a difficult time when an illness stopped him working. He now shines as a volunteer, raising awareness in the Civil Service community.
David's story

After 20 years in the Civil Service, I left to start my own photography business. It was an active role walking around and taking photos. Then I started to fall over a lot.

I was diagnosed with a degenerative problem. There was a lot of pain involved too. I was told that I would eventually be unable to walk. It felt like a punch in the face.

The business started to dwindle and I was in a dark place. It made me think – how am I ever going to walk again? How are we going to pay the mortgage?

Carer’s passport

David and his wife reached out to us for help. Initially, we looked at how we could support the family with caring responsibilities.

My wife, who is also a civil servant, cares for me. She asked the Charity for help and it made a big difference at the time.

Our Carer’s Passport and Statement Digital Tool can help you reflect on what particular support you may need. The confidential online questionnaire can help you consider the impact on your employment and the conversations you would have with health, social care and other professionals.

Financial support

The person on the phone sensed that there was more to our story. They asked if they could help in any other way and that’s when we burst into tears. They were able to provide some financial assistance which helped us over the hurdle. It gave me the headspace I was looking for.

Part of the Champions team

David returned to the Civil Service. Now with his supportive community of civil servants behind him, he’s thriving within HMRC. We’re also proud to call David one of our Champions.

From organising and hosting coffee mornings to writing about us in his regional newsletter, David does all he can to tell civil servants that there’s a whole charity dedicated to helping them when life gets tough.

We were blown away by the whole thing. That’s why I’m passionate about volunteering for the Charity for Civil Servants. That’s why I became a Champion.

As the group disappears at the end of a coffee morning, I always get one or two people that hang around at the end and tell me that my story really resonated with them. Then they reach out to the Charity and come back to me to say thank you. They say what a joy it was to have a perfect stranger genuinely wanting to help. Each time it happens I think – if I can help just one person in my life, at any point, then it’s worthwhile.

As David continues to take proactive steps in his own workplace, his friends and colleagues continue to benefit from his kindness and generosity. Thank you David.

When someone is going through a tough time and you show them there’s light at the end of the tunnel, you really feel like you’ve done something for someone. Something important. If they’re walking round a dark room, they need someone to switch the light on, that light can be bright. That’s what volunteering is all about. It’s about real community spirit.

Some elements of this story have been anonymised or changed to protect the person’s identity. 

Get involved

If you’re a civil servant, facing a tough time – find out how we can help you.

Support people like David by making a single or regular donation, leaving a gift in your Will or by fundraising for us. With you alongside us, we can do even more to support civil servants