Help is always appreciated

The BBA gives assistance to past and present practising members of the Bar (including Judiciary) and their dependants.

The staff cannot offer specific advice but can point people towards those who can. Many beneficiaries see them as a life-line and are regularly in touch on the phone, or calling in for a chat. No matter who they are and whatever their circumstances there is always a welcome for them.

“I cannot thank the BBA enough. I also thank every person that donates funds to the BBA.”

I had Covid19 in March 2020 and was hospitalised in intensive Care for 8 days. I sustained scarring on my lungs. I lost 40% of my muscle, the nerves became detached from my remaining muscles resulting in constant extreme pain, Covid 19 damaged my kidneys resulting in kidney failure. The blood vessels in my eyes are bleeding causing problems with vision. There was a decline in my cognitive functions.

Being in ICU was very scary and lonely, surrounded by medical staff in PPE from head to toe but being in social isolation. The noise from the machines keeping patients alive, alarms beeping. The lights were on 24/7. I had no conversation for the duration of my stay in ICU. It was  horrendous and very traumatising. In August I was re-admitted to hospital for 6 days due to a Post Covid illness. I have made numerous visits to the A & E Department due to falling over causing myself injuries.

The emotional and physical side of recovery is enormous. I had counselling for PTSD. Home visits for Physiotherapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks. I had to have Speech therapy to learn to breathe and speak at the same time. I will have Occupational Therapy to learn strategies for when I eventually return to work. I have treatment with the Respiratory unit of the Covid Clinic. I have been referred to the Pain Management Clinic and Falls Unit as I am very unsteady on my feet.  Being informed I would need a kidney transplant and daily dialysis came as a huge shock and shook me and my family to the core. I receive counselling from the Renal Psychology Service. I can walk very short distances with assistance. I have difficulties with coordination. I am still undergoing tests to resolve a myriad of unexplained symptoms the result of Post Covid. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who have come through the darkest times with light at the end of the tunnel.

I am not the same person I was prior to getting Covid 19. I had to rebuild my life, by taking control of my emotions and trying my best not to allow the physical and psychological damage to defeat me. I say to myself every morning  ‘I am ready to live, tough times don’t last, tough people last”. Everyday day I do a little bit more than I did the day before. I focus on the positives and have learned to live with small Improvements. I did not know how I was going to survive financially. I reached out to the BBA who offered support and assistance, the BBA have been incredible and continue to be so.

Twelve months later I have not recovered sufficiently to be able to return to practice at the Bar. Knowing I have the support of the BBA has helped me immensely.  I owe the BBA and the generosity of the good people who divert precious resources to helping colleagues an immeasurable emotional debt. I do not know what I would have done without the continued support of the BBA. I would not have been able to survive financially.

Anonymous, BBA C19 fund 

The BBA were quite simply a saviour for me in a time of financial dire straits, and I will be eternally grateful to them for their support.

I was not eligible for the self-employed grant nor Universal Credit. This meant I had to borrow money and rely on credit cards in order to sustain myself. It was a period of great uncertainty and a slippery slope for me, and so the BBA’s support came just in time. I shan’t forget their generosity and hope that after I qualify, I too can be of assistance to them and others like me who will be facing similar adversities. Thank you BBA.


“Every avenue of financial assistance was closed to me and the BBA provided that relief when I needed it the most.”

“I can’t thank the BBA enough for their help. They have been amazing. ”

Several years ago, I had to abandon a successful career at the Bar when I became seriously ill and unable to work. Although my health has gradually improved over the years, I never recovered sufficiently to be able to return to practice at the Bar or to work full time. Eventually, I had to sell my house and downsize to a less expensive property. A year later I started working part-time in a non-legal role with a contract for just 180 hours per annum. The salary was just £150 per month, but it was a step in the right direction. From that starting point, I gradually increased my working hours to the point where I am now able to work sustainably three days a week, although still on a very low income.

Gradually, the resources that I have to meet my very modest monthly expenses dwindled to below zero and I had to resort to personal loans and credit cards to cover the deficit. Throughout 2019, I tried to secure better paid employment in the legal sector that would enable me to benefit from my legal qualifications and experience. I was unsuccessful. I formed the view that my legal qualifications and experience had become stale and unmarketable.

I felt that I might be able to improve my employment prospects if I obtained an updated qualification in a suitable area of legal practice. I found a course, but I didn’t have enough money to pay for it. I was in a predicament. I was getting further and further into debt each month, but I couldn’t afford the training that I needed to try to address this.

I was really hesitant about approaching the BBA for help. I would have preferred to have been able to stand on my own two feet and I feel quite embarrassed about the fact that I can’t at the moment. The BBA committee offered me a secured loan that could be used to pay for the legal course and to clear debts direct, freeing up my income. This has all now been put in place and I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I have now started my course and my monthly outgoings are drastically reduced (because I no longer have to service my personal debts).


“The financial fear we have lived with during these past two months has been beyond stressful and to know that the Association was willing to support us, both financially and emotionally was a wonderful feeling.”

I am a barrister of sixteen years call. I belong to a small provincial set of chambers and have remained loyal to it since I completed my pupillage there. My husband runs his own small business in the hospitality trade and we have four young children ranging from twelve to fifteen months. In February our baby daughter was diagnosed at our local hospital with a rare disorder for which she would have to attend Great Ormand Street hospital to be treated, as it requires such specialist work. Only a few weeks later and Covid-19 caused the lockdown and the effect on our family was immense. My husband was forced to close his business indefinitely and due to the court’s closing I had no work at all. Two directions hearings were listed by phone but were completed in minutes and the small fees would not be paid for several weeks. Our bank was slow to assist us with the strain we were under and the fear of heading into debt was tremendous. Compounded to this was the fact that we were due to attend Great Ormond street for treatment but at a great financial burden. We are not local to London and train fares early in the morning are expensive. Due to the lockdown, we would have nowhere to stay in London and so we were looking at several trips to attend appointments and consequently multiple fares.

Nicky Young and her swift assistance and guidance could not have come at a more needed time. Within a few days of applying, she was in touch with me to confirm the outcome. A grant was offered which meant that we could cover our immediate overheads and also meet the costs of the hospital visits without having to delay them until a later date. The fact that we will not fall into debt means that hopefully we will survive financially until my husband can reopen his business and I can return to work. Two of our sons are classed as clinically vulnerable under these frightening times and so we have felt so cautious under the lockdown. The financial fear we have also lived with during these past two months has been beyond stressful and to know that the Association was willing to support us, both financially and emotionally was a wonderful feeling. My family and I cannot thank it enough for the relief it has given us so that we can come through this unprecedented time safe and secure. Our daughter’s treatment can continue without delay and for that we shall be forever grateful.


“I cannot thank those enough who have contributed to the BBA over the years and the helpful staff who dealt with my application.”

I decided to ask the BBA for help – and from the moment I got in touch the process was (relatively) painless. An unsecured loan helped me fend off HMRC and meant that the process of recovery was not impeded by worries about finances.


“I owe a deep gratitude to all who support the fund; it was an absolute lifeline for us.”

We were overwhelmed with the generosity of the BBA and we are eternally grateful for the help, assistance and support offered to us as a family.


“Without the BBA I would not be the person I am today.”

In short the BBA has been a lifeline… My practice came to a sudden end late 2010 as the CPS restructured and abolished agent-prosecutors overnight… The BBA have been brilliant. With professional help I refocussed my life… To conclude, thank you BBA, you’ve been amazing. I soldier on positively hoping for a better world…


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