How we can help you

A common theme among applications indicates that through unforeseen circumstances, many people lack savings or adequate pensions. Our work is targeted at people who cannot afford an adequate standard of living to take part in society. We aim to support them to live a more independent life. Our grants are wide ranging and include regular allowances and one-off grants towards specific items.

Our team takes a respectful approach to each application and assesses them on a case by case basis. On occasions when we are unable to offer financial assistance we will still work with you to help you resolve your situation. We can also conduct a benefits check on your behalf to ensure you are receiving any benefits to which you may be entitled.

If you think you may be eligible for help from the OA, please contact us. For additional support and advice on specific subjects, please select from the options below.

How we helped Mrs Y ease her debt worries

Following the sudden death of her husband, a former Army Officer, Mrs Y became deeply depressed and suicidal.

She sold her home to pay debts and rented a private house. She took a job, but when she became ill, her employment was terminated and she was evicted.
The OA, along with The Soldiers' Charity, paid the deposit on a smaller home, the first month's rent, removals, furnishings and white goods. Although still not entirely secure, her standard of living has improved considerably since she received help from the OA.

"I cannot find the words to describe how grateful I am to the OA and the Soldiers' Charity for the grants which you have awarded. They will make a massive difference. I feel as if I can breathe again, after feeling scared about my financial predicament."

Mrs. Y, widow of a former Army Officer

Helpful information

Debt levels vary widely across the UK, with some households owing tens of thousands of pounds and others owing nothing. Most of us, however, have got very used to living with a certain amount of debt. 

Usually we find that there has been a specific, single event in an individual's life that tipped the scales and turned a manageable level of debt into an unmanageable burden. The loss of a job, the break-up of a relationship or the birth of another child are every day examples.

Financial experts reckon you should have between three and twelve months' living expenses in an easy-access, high-interest savings account to cover these eventualities.

Step Change  offers free, impartial debt advice, to anyone in the UK experiencing financial problems, and provides specialist budgeting advice, help with bankruptcy, assistance with individual voluntary arrangements  (IVAs) and professional debt solutions.