Freya's story

At university, I experienced a series of traumatic events including a house mate attempting to commit suicide. I lost a lot of weight due to stress and was in quite a vulnerable state. Over time I developed an eating disorder, largely as a coping mechanism.

Despite setbacks and various hospital admissions, I graduated from university with a 1st and passed my accountancy exams with flying colours. I took a position in London with long working hours and a lengthy commute but found it too demanding physically. Following doctor's recommendations I started working more locally but my health continued to decline.

Eventually, things culminated in yet another hospital admission after collapsing and needing ITU treatment. During this time, I was unable to work and had to rely heavily on my parents to support me financially in order to meet mortgage commitments. I don't know what I would have done without them.

I was desperate to get better and pushed myself to leave hospital before doctors recommended. On reflection I can see I went back to work too soon as I was using annual leave to cover appointments and to recuperate. It was completely unsustainable and eventually I was forced to stop working again.

I was aware of caba and had wanted to go on some of their courses for a while. I thought that the 'Eat and exercise for energy' course may be helpful and so I signed up for the day. I am so glad that I did! The tutors were excellent and the day was incredibly rewarding. When the course trainer offered follow up sessions I jumped at the chance.

In terms of exercise, I learned low impact techniques to manage my osteoporosis. I also picked up nutrition tips that have been a benefit to my long-term health. My bone density is better than it was and I feel like I am taking proactive steps to improve my health.

I really recommend the caba website which has some fantastic wellbeing resources designed to keep you focused on your health. It's particularly useful if you aren't able to attend one of the day courses.

My next goal is to go back to work. In order to help me caba has offered me sessions to help me build my confidence and help me learn how to present my health challenges to an employer in a positive way - so I can pursue the opportunities I really want.

I'm so grateful for all of the support that caba has given, and continues to give, to me. I would recommend them to anyone feeling that they could do with career or personal support.

how caba can help

caba supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please:

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your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students. 

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means-tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means-tested. 

I’m an accountant, but not a member of ICAEW, can you still help?

Unfortunately not. We only support past and present ICAEW members, their carers and their families. If we are unable to support you, where possible we will point you to help elsewhere.

caba has supported me in the past; can I receive support from caba again?

We understand that circumstances change. If we’ve helped you in the past there’s no reason why we can’t help you again. You can contact us at any time. Please call us if you need our help.

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