Giving hope for people in our industry
Caz Dickinson, a mother, grandmother and a loving wife spent 15 years working for a large Electrical Wholesaler until her life changed in a blink of a moment. On the 4th January 2009, Caz was getting ready for work when she had a coughing fit, collapsed and hit her head on the bathtub. She was rushed to hospital after being found unconscious where she was diagnosed with a Grade 4 brain haemorrhage. Whilst in intensive care she suffered two strokes and faced numerous major operations. Caz was left with severe, irreversible brain damage, paralysed from the neck down, lost her speech and the family told that she would require 24-hour care for the rest of her life. Caz spent the next seven years in hospital in a high-care facility.
During this period Caz’s husband Mick, helped her through her struggles and kept her positive while supporting her three daughters. When Caz was transferred to the high care facility Mick would drive 2 hours each way to see her every day. His presence and her daughter’s had a positive calming effect on Caz. Throughout this time, the family struggled with the loss of Caz’s wage and the financial pressures of adjusting to a single income household. Just shortly after Caz’s arrival at the high care facility the family suffered another blow with Mick being made redundant from his job. This left the family without any income to cover the mortgage, hospital visits and other expenses. Resulting in them losing their family home in October 2013.
Despite the challenging situation, Mick always remained positive for his wife. He eventually found another job and sourced a rented property which could accommodate his wife upon her return from the high-care facility. In November 2015, he was given the option to take voluntary redundancy, which gave him an opportunity to bring Caz home and become her full-time carer.
After spending seven and a half years in hospital and a care facility facing numerous complications, Caz has finally returned home to her loving family. Sadly, Caz has not regained any movement from her neck downwards and still requires 24-hours care, however since returning home her family have noticed significant improvements in her speech development and outlook.
Despite the improvements in her condition, the Dickinson’s problems are far from over. The family has not received any income for the past eight months, and despite submitting all the required documentation which would allow them to receive benefits including, tax benefits, Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Carers Allowance, the only support they have received so far is housing benefit.
The family discovered that without a Court of Protection order this would continue to be the case, but the cost to apply for the order was significant and financially out of the reach for the family. In addition, because the Order can take up to 16 weeks to process and the Carers Allowance can take a further 12 weeks to process, the family faced the very real possibility of having no income for up to six months.
To lift this heavy financial burden and to allow the family to focus on caring for Caz, the Electrical Industries Charity has provided an initial grant of £10,000 which will assist the family in a number of ways. This includes providing wheelchair access to the front of the house; paying off council tax arrears, providing a full assessment by an occupational therapist; and long-term rehabilitation treatment which is not covered by the NHS. More importantly the grant will cover the cost of a family lawyer who will assist the family with an application for an enduring power of attorney and directorship – ensuring that they will be able to apply for all the necessary funding to support Caz throughout her life. The Charity will supplement their benefits until the legal issues are resolved.
In the long term, the Electrical Industries Charity has a goal, through its Challenge for a Cause, to raise £250,000 to purchase a house and through its Practical Participation Programme, work with industry partners to carry out any renovation work which is required to safeguard the future of Caz and her family.