Polly's story

I'd spent 10 years building my career as a chartered accountant. I took on a new role and the first year there went smoothly. I liked my work and the team around me. Then I got a new line manager.

This manager seemed to be determined to criticise me and my work. Over the next 14 months I went from a confident, hard working, able person to a terrified wreck. It felt like any tiny flaw was exploited to humiliate me

I felt hopeless. One day driving to work I found myself hoping to have a car accident so I didn't have to face my situation at work. It was at that point I thought, this has to stop. You don't realise when you're in it that something terrible is happening to you, but if you just reach out to caba it can be the beginning of seeing things differently.

how caba helped me

My family convinced me to file a claim for bullying. caba were able to advise me on my legal position - even simple things like taking notes and talking me through the next steps. They also provided me with some counselling. After this I was given a new role, which I really threw myself into. Things weren't perfect, but they were pretty good. 5 months in I was called into a meeting and told that the team didn't like me, I wasn't a people person and I wasn't right for the role. I was devastated.

I phoned caba again. They arranged some telephone counselling. I felt very supported and could talk to my counsellor about anything. He helped me take a new perspective and see that not everything is my fault. He gave me real tools that made me feel more confident and resilience that I use to this day.

Things have really improved. My current job as a chartered accountant is going well, but I've also realised that I'd enjoy a more creative role so I'm also retraining.



are you eligible for caba's services?

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. Our support is free, impartial and strictly confidential. For advice, information and support please click on the button below.

talk to us

find out more about our mental health services

contact us

You can access our self-help content for mental health

read more

we offer a range of training and events that can help your career

find out more

training and events

view all training and events 

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.

view more questions

Not got the answer to your question?