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Welcome to 5 Quid for Life: A Mental Health Safety Net

by on January 27, 2011

WELCOME to 5 Quid for Life: A Mental Health Safety Net — and thank you!

5 Quid for Life started as an idea to save one life: Ali Quant. Ali has mental health problems caused largely by a lifetime of horrific abuse. As a result of those problems she is unable to work and depends upon state benefits, including Disability Living Allowance, to survive. Faced by the changes to the benefits system being imposed by the Coalition Government’s review of DLA, she found herself in a state of utter despair and posted on her blog about her contingency plan if forced to go through a reassessment of her entitlement: suicide.

So I came up with an alternative plan and launched an online campaign called ‘200 People to Save Ali Quant‘. My plan was simple: if I could find 200 people who would commit to giving £5 per month, that would provide a safety net for Ali worth £12,000 per year. She might be kicked out by the benefits system but, if my plan came together, she’d have somewhere to land.

Alongside my blog post, I set up a facebook group with the same name — and people responded, not least amongst them Ali herself: Overwhelmed.

A lesser person might have simply heaved a sigh of relief and jumped for the safety net. Not Ali: she responded with a challenge. “Think bigger,” she said, and pointed us towards the thousands of other people whose incomes, homes and lives are being threatened by the DLA review:

I’m just one person and there are many many more in my situation, so I asked Phil and everyone else involved at that point if they would mind opening it up to help others too. The ways in which this group could help people are enormous – from paying for an advocate to attend a medical assessment or tribunal to the initial idea of providing an income for someone whose benefits have been cut off, it really could make a real difference and ultimately save lives.

And so 5 Quid for Life was born. Our aim: to encourage people to give, ideally to commit to regular giving of £5 per month, to enable us to offer a life-saving safety net beneath the benefits system.

5 Quid for Life, because we think life is worth far more than five quid, but if enough of us stand together with our fivers ready, a network of friends standing in solidarity with those battling mental illness, then lives can and will be saved: A Mental Health Safety Net.

One suicide as a result of the changes being imposed upon the benefits system is one suicide too many. We say: let there be life, not death. We say: let’s support those who are mentally ill, not pull the rug from under their feet.

But who are we? Watch this space and over the next week or so I hope to introduce the core team who have been working with me behind the scenes to launch 5 Quid for Life.

There’s still a lot of work to do: drawing up a formal constitution that will satisfy the requirements of the Charities Commission and opening a bank account so that we can begin to receive donations, to name but two.

But that work is well underway, thanks entirely to those who have expressed their support for Ali’s bigger vision. People who were complete strangers just a few weeks ago have become friends and colleagues in pursuit of something none of us would have imagined possible that short while ago.

Friends and colleagues, I salute you: thank you.

From → Announcements

41 Comments
  1. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I think you are all amazing. I wish I could do more, but moral (and financial) support all the way

  3. Puppet permalink

    Hooray xxx

  4. You are amazing.

  5. mrsp permalink

    I’m in… :o)

  6. melissawolfe permalink

    This is amazing. Let me know if i can help at all. xx

    • You’ve blogged us: thank you! Every little flap of those butterfly wings takes us further :)

  7. Luci permalink

    I am truly heartbroken, humbled and inspired all at once. Nice work indeed. :)

  8. CarrieH permalink

    Brilliant!

  9. May I post the story on my site and link back to here?
    This story is SO inspiring and I thought I’d heard it all!

    • Please do! Quote freely, spread the word — and thank you!

  10. Thank-you

  11. This is an amazing cause. Good job to all involved for kick starting it. x

  12. I keep coming back here to reread this with a massive grin on my face and tears in my eyes. Brilliant, just brilliant. :D

  13. Charly permalink

    Excellent idea. I hope this idea really catches on. We definitely do need a safety need beneath the benefits system for people who have their benefits cut off.

    This is needed especially since the hardship allowance has been cut.

    It doesn’t seem to say how to sign up to pay your fiver a month.

    • Hey Charly — as soon as we’ve got the bank account set up, we’ll post an announcement and open a PayPal account alongside. Shouldn’t be too long now: watch this space: thanks!

  14. … and we’re now on twitter: @5QuidForLife

  15. Paula permalink

    :) :) :) :)

  16. Steve W permalink

    This is a great way of raising money for charity. Basically it’s a search engine which gives 50% of it’s profits to charity (users choose what charity the revenue they generate goes to). I doubt it would help raise enough to help all the people being screwed by the state but every bit helps!

    http://www.everyclick.com/

  17. http://www.charitydonator.org/home.aspx will be live sometime today Friday 28/11/2011 well worth checking when it is :)

  18. Becca permalink

    This is a wonderful and much needed idea. Wishing you all the luck in the world with this one.

    I’ve already started spreading the word and will be checking back to see how it goes.

    Take care xxx

  19. Little Epicure permalink

    Brilliant and amazing. Well done!

  20. testing the PayPal process, 5.00 just sent

    • Received with thanks and much appreciated.

      • sorry it’s not more, pleased that the process is working :-)

  21. concerned permalink

    This is not a registered charity

    • Correct. Under UK charity law we are not allowed to register as a charity until we can demonstrate that we have an annual income of more than £5,000 — then we are required to register and will do so. From the Charity Commission guidance pages:

      We don’t register charities whose income is less than £5,000. This helps to avoid unnecessary administrative costs and effort for smaller charities and for us. Small charities don’t need to register to prove that they are charities or benefit from charitable status.

      It’s very early days for us yet but we are in the process of drawing up a formal constitution and doing the 1,001 other things that are required to ensure that everything is legitimate.

      Please feel free to contact me personally with any further concerns and I’ll do my best to address them or refer you to another member of our admin team as necessary.

      Thank you.

  22. Ella C permalink

    This is so amazing, well done. It is such a shame that it has come to this but really well done!

  23. ????

  24. Dipak’s comment was spam; have binned it.

  25. Another spammer got through the filter, David; c’est la vie: binned. I’ve now updated our comments settings to: “Before a comment appears: Comment author must have a previously approved comment”

  26. :)

  27. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_eYSuPKP3Y [ouldn't reist]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 5 Quid For Life « www.mentallyinteresting.org.uk | The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive
  2. 5 Quid for Life: thankful, exhilarated and terrified all at once! « Phil's Boring Blog
  3. News Roundup: VeggieTales Return; Turf Wars in Inverness; Hothorpe Hall Bookshop Closing; and 5 Quid for Life needs you! « The Christian Bookshops Blog
  4. Overwhelmed « 5 Quid for Life
  5. So, have you met ’5 Quid for Life: A Mental Health Safety Net.’? No?Read on… « Dawn Willis sharing the News & Views of the Mentally Wealthy
  6. News Roundup: 10 Years Online; Commentaries Sale at Wesley Owen; More Shops Seeking New Owners; More Than Another Day of Prayer; and a New Blog for Caritas Music « The Christian Bookshops Blog
  7. What’s happening @5QuidForLife? | 5 Quid for Life
  8. PRESS RELEASE: Breaking the Fall: 5 Quid for Life makes first Mental Health Safety Net payment | 5 Quid for Life

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