“One day I was working on Starlight Express in Edinburgh, Scotland, the next I was in the hospital with the prospect of being unable to work for many weeks,” recalls Chris Luscombe, a freelance production electrician, who now sings the praises of Light Relief for its support during his extremely difficult time.
Though the injury wasn’t work related—Chris was walking down some steps when he twisted his ankle—he both fractured and dislocated it. Initially told he wouldn’t be able to work for five to six weeks, he soon found out that his job meant he would actually be off work for 14 weeks. Luscombe’s wife works for him, looking after the administration side of the business, so no work meant no income at all.
Luscombe says: “We have two young children, a mortgage, lease on a car so it was all a real shock. I had a small insurance policy, but the payout fell way short of what I needed, covering only about half of our regular outgoings. I knew of Light Relief but was hesitant about contacting them, even though I was really stressed about how we were going to cope, until one of my colleagues spurred me on.
“The trustees at Light Relief were brilliant. I knew the charity wouldn’t be a continual source of funds, but they awarded me 50% of my outgoings on my mortgage and the car for two months, which made such a difference. I was able to afford some private physiotherapy treatment, which actually got me back to work a good four weeks earlier than anticipated.”
Having suffered his accident on April 30, Luscombe didn’t start work again until August 12, catching up with Starlight Express in Bradford, England. He continues: “After such a long break, I’m only just getting back up to speed and start work on Hairspray next week. The support from the industry has been tremendous and once we get back on our feet, I am certainly going to give something back to Light Relief. It was fantastic.”