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5 Quid for Life

Last Updated: 7th January 2018

5 Quid for Life is a small charitable trust which provides crisis financial support to people with mental health problems who have lost benefits as a result of the UK government’s welfare reforms.


Please note that as of January 2018 all of our funds—including our reserve fund—have been allocated to people who have applied for our help. Our maximum grant is now £100 and we are working on a month-by-month basis, issuing one or two grants per month dependent upon each month’s income. If you can help by making a donation or becoming a regular supporter, please do so: please see our donations page for details. Thank you.


In the beginning…

The project was launched in January 2011 in response to a friend who declared that she would take her own life rather than be forced to revisit the trauma of her past in a benefits entitlement reassessment. Our logic was simple: if we could find 200 people each willing to contribute £5 per month, this would secure a regular monthly income of £1,000 for our friend if her benefits were stopped.

We created a facebook group, people joined and began to offer help. The friend concerned suggested that the project should broaden its horizons: she wasn’t the only one terrified by the idea of having to revisit the issues that had caused her mental health breakdown — 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.

For the full story, please see our first post: Welcome to 5 Quid for Life.

We are not a registered charity because the Charity Commission does not allow organisations with an annual income below £5,000 to register. We hope to pass that threshold eventually, at which point we intend to proceed with registration.

Who can apply?

Our eligibility criteria are very simple: we provide crisis financial support for people in the UK with mental health difficulties who:

  • have lost their benefits
  • or are not able to apply for benefit
  • or have been notified that they are going to lose their benefits

If you meet those criteria, please contact us. If appropriate we will then ask you to complete an online application form or, if you prefer, send you a form in the post. Please note that support is currently limited to a maximum of £100 per application and is normally restricted to two payments in any 12 month period. All payments are subject to available funds.

How can I help?

If you can afford to give, please consider making a donation or, even better, setting up a regular standing order of £5 per month. Donations may be made direct to the 5 Quid for Life bank account via online banking, in person at any bank or via PayPal: full details are available on our Donate page.

Whether or not you can afford to give, you can help by spreading the word about us: we have a poster/flyer available for offline use; and online, of course, you can use the world of social media such as facebook, pinterest and twitter. Thank you!

Who are we?

We hoped you’d ask: please visit our Meet the Team page.

5 Quid for Life: A Mental Health Safety Net

Hi-res logo: click to zoom…

5 Quid for Life: a mental health safety net | |

5 Quid for Life operates on a 100% voluntary basis and all donations go entirely to those we support:
we do not make any deductions, claim expenses or charge for our services.


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