In July 2014 he had a double stroke and although he hasn’t worked since he has been described by medical staff as a ‘walking miracle’.
Graeme said: “There is no doubt that my level of fitness helped the recovery, and I dread to think what condition I might be in if I didn’t keep fit. There are some ongoing symptoms but overall I’m keen to return to work as soon as possible.
“The money from the project will help with day to day life. I will be taking voluntary redundancy in the spring and would like to return to work in some capacity before the end of the year, which is why the rehabilitation and support also provided by the project could be so important.”
As part of Seven Families, a charity-led campaign to raise awareness of the financial impact of long-term illness or disability, Graeme will receive financial support and advice to help improve his home life, aid rehabilitation and return to work.
Kevin Pratt, protection expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “MoneySuperMarket is pleased to support the Seven Families campaign which aims to raise public awareness of the financial impact of being unable to work due to long term illness or disability.
“The project is focused on bringing to life what really happens to the family when people cannot work, and demonstrates how important it is to have appropriate protection cover in place should the worse happen.”
Peter Le Beau MBE and spokesperson for the Seven Families campaign added: “The campaign provides a tax-free income for one year and Graeme will receive £1,500 per month. Each family will have access to financial advice from a range of volunteering financial advisers to help with basic finances and budgeting and they will also have the opportunity to benefit from independent living, rehabilitation and counselling services.”
Jason Jaspal from Disability Rights UK said: “We campaign constantly for much faster and more effective support when somebody’s life changes through an accident or health condition. We hear from people daily who have to wait months for assessments (for Personal Independence Payment), while receiving ineffective or no support to resume work. This project will help us learn how different it can be when people do have resources, information and access to support on their own terms. We plan to draw on this learning to campaign for changes in social security and independent living support, which is in line with our aim to strengthen the voice of disabled people.”
Liz Sayce, CEO of Disability Rights UK added: “We also want to test the difference it can make to get fast, effective support when you unexpectedly become disabled or develop a serious health condition, so you can get your life on track. Our campaign is for improved social security and independent living rights, for everyone – not the 2-tier system we have at present.”