Nicole started getting sick and she fell into debt, but as her financial situation improved, so did her health

This is my story

About four years ago, Nicole started getting sick. Her health got progressively worse. Then, she needed to attend a time-consuming number of specialist appointments and pay for medication, which led to her losing the ability to work full time.  

“I had to use up like all of my savings and then I wasn’t getting a full income. I was living in city where it’s a little bit more expensive. Then, I had to put everything on credit, and I just started to drown.  

“I knew I needed help for a long time. But it was just when I became sick and then had to quit my job completely, that was when I knew I was never going to get some in front of this.  

“It wasn’t until BankWest called me and informed me about this service, that I thought there was something out there to help me.  

“I was living week to week, basically, just having enough money to pay my rent and get my medication and just to live day to day, and not be not be able to think of the future.” 

Nicole has been working with Bill from Way Forward.

“He’s just so approachable, lovely and understanding.” 

She says that as her financial situation started to improve, so did her health.  

“Now, I have a plan, and I feel so much better, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My plan is to go on a holiday.”  

“Some of my health issues were then compounded by the stress of it all. I was getting sicker and sicker. But since I started my plan, my health is started to improve.  

 I joined a netball team on the weekend. I haven’t played sport for about four years.  

 “It’s just about living again and not just trying to survive.  

 I didn’t know that I would be eligible for a hardship because I just assumed that I got myself into this situation and because I have been working, I wouldn’t be eligible.

 Nicole says the best part of dealing with Way Forward is not being judged.  

 “I was so ashamed of and embarrassed of my situation. So just not to be judged was so nice. And the pride gets damaged. 

 “To know that there were services out there, maybe I could have not got into such a bad situation. Because it just kept getting worse and worse.” 

 She says it’s important to ask for help.

“Do something that may feel unusual, not the typical things that someone who’s been working their whole life would do and ask for help.” 


Struggling to pay for the essentials such as food and rent and want to know more about your options? Our emergency funding page lists some of the available free emergency services and funding if you live in Australia and find yourself in financial difficulty.

By Rachel Ryan

Rachel is a policy and communications specialist with over a decade of experience working in government, education and not-for-profit organisations. She is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Way Forward’s clients to assist them in sharing their story on their terms, in a way that is empowering and uplifting.