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Rachel's story

When her partner was tragically killed in a car accident, Rachel’s life fell apart. Dealing with grief and a worsening financial situation, she turned to us.

Rachel and Arun met at university. They were bundled into the same residential halls during fresher’s week and instantly clicked. They both had their tea just the same in their messy student kitchen – a splash of milk with half a sugar. And after many shared cuppas, they realised that this was something worth holding onto.

Four years down the line, they neatly settled into their happy routine as graduates living and working in the big city together. Rachel, a Fast Streamer starting in the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport and Arun, a secondary school teacher. They were both thriving. 

One tragic day

One morning, like every other scrambled rush hour, Arun and Rachel said a half-asleep goodbye, before heading their separate ways to work. A few hours later, Rachel got a call that would change her life forever. It was the hospital asking if she was Arun’s partner. Arun had been in a car accident. A fatal one.

Rachel carried on as best she could. But it was hard. Not only was she learning to live without the person she thought she would spend the rest of her life with, but she was struggling financially. She had to pay the same bills and rent on half the income.

She had to move to a smaller place but couldn’t afford the deposit and the first month’s rent on the new property. It was overwhelming. The constant wave of grief knocked her for six. That’s when her manager recommended reaching out to us for help. She explained how there’s a charity out there just for civil servants, tailored to individual needs.

reaching out

I wanted to talk to someone who just got it – who didn’t feel sorry for me but empathised with me. There’s a difference. I was looking for someone to say – we’ve got you and we can get through this together… and I found that in the Charity for Civil Servants.

When Rachel called, we listened. We had an in-depth conversation and took a holistic approach to help her get back on her feet.  We know that everyone experiences grief differently and there’s no “normal” way to go about it. 

For Rachel, the priority was to help her feel safe and comfortable in a new home. We gave some financial advice and paid towards the house move so she could make a fresh start. We also built a package of support for her including grief counselling from our partner Grief Works.

I felt like I lost everything that day. He was everything to me. The support from the Charity for Civil Servants meant I could slowly start again. They helped me see the good in people again… and I really needed that

Moving forwards

Losing Arun was life-changing for Rachel. She is now doing her best to live the life he would want her to live. She’s powering forwards at work , sharing her creative ideas with her team as she sips on her tea with half a sugar.

Since the day that time stood still, she’s been reminded that although her journey is unique, people genuinely care about her. Not just her friends and family, but us too. We’ve helped her find a way forwards. To live a new version of the life she’d planned with Arun.

Arun would have wanted me to live life to the full, so that’s what I’m trying to do. I want to say a massive thank you to the Charity for Civil Servants for helping me live it.

This is a composite story. This means that this is not the story of a real person word for word, but a compilation of real experiences from people who contact the Charity for Civil Servants for help. The purpose of the story is to demonstrate the vast range of support the Charity can provide to serving, former and retired civil servants.

Get involved

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

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