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Anthonia

Anthonia, DWP

Anthonia felt like she lost her best friend when her father passed away. To make matters worse, he was over 3,000 miles away when she wanted to say a final goodbye.

Born in Cameroon, Central Africa, Anthonia’s Dad lived to see his children grow up into successful, happy people. His daughter, Anthonia, had moved to the UK in her early 20’s to be with her husband, Arnold. Arnold worked for the Royal Air Force and Anthonia found a job within the Department for Work and Pensions. Even though she had settled in a different country, she was still very close to her parents and was extremely upset when she heard the sad news.

“I felt like my life had ended when I found out. My Dad was the first person I’ve ever lost. I really wanted to talk to someone outside of my family circle but I didn’t know how to go about it.”

Anthonia’s colleague had recently received mental health support from the Charity and suggested giving us a call. Her Line Manager was also aware of her recent loss and recommended getting in touch.

“I felt nervous about speaking about something so personal to a complete stranger. But the person on the phone really listened to me and understood what I was going through. I really needed that at the time.”

After a supportive conversation with our team on the phone, we were then able to assess Anthonia’s situation in detail and give sound advice on moving forward. During this emotional time, the family were also going through some financial difficulty, making day-to-day life extremely stressful. In addition to offering budgeting advice and signposting Anthonia to our partner organisations, we were able to provide financial support to help the family get back on their feet.

“I didn’t even really know what type of support I wanted but I know that first phone call changed everything. It felt like the person on the phone truly cared. They made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that was so important to me.”

Once Anthonia had regained her confidence by opening up about her grief, she made the long journey to Cameroon and attended her father’s funeral. She said a final farewell to the man who raised her and finally found the closure she had been longing for.

“I still wake up some days and can’t believe there’s a charity out there like this. I will be forever grateful.”

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