photo credit: Honza Soukup via photopin cc

Last year over 88,000 essential grants and services were awarded by the charity Family Fund, to improve the wellbeing of families raising disabled or seriously ill children across the UK, according to the charity’s latest figures.

Family Fund, the UK’s largest charity providing grants to low income families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people, reports the impact of its work in their Annual Review 2017/18.

The report highlights the charity’s continued work to expand support to meet the needs of families across the UK.

In the past year Family Fund has provided practical support worth over £33 million, and has introduced new grant programmes and services that families have shared will make a difference to their day to day lives.

Speaking about the charity’s success, Cheryl Ward, Group Chief Executive, said: “When you are a parent or carer raising a child or young person with a disability or serious illness, life can be tough and every day you can face barriers that need be to overcome.

“Last year we worked hard to help ease some of the pressures families told us they faced by providing practical help. In fact, we received over 12,500 more applications for support than we did a few years ago.

“We have been providing essential support to families for over 45 years now, and our understanding of the needs of families continues to grow every day through conversations with parents and carers.

“That is why this year more than any other we have worked to broaden the support we offer and signpost to other organisations who will assist in making an even bigger difference to families.

“Families remain at the heart of what we do, and we remain committed to increasing our support to listen and adapt to their needs and to amplify their voices.”

Case Study

“Alex,14 from Dumfries, has autism, and he also has a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Hyperactivity and Severe Global Development Delay,” explains his mum, Amanda.

“At 14 years old he still has zero speech. He has no awareness of his environment, and no awareness of danger. We actually first found out about Family Fund through a social worker, who told us we should ask for help with kitchen appliances.

“We’re on income support, and we don’t have a lot of money because we have a child with disabilities. Our washing machine had stopped working, then recently our fridge-freezer packed in, and I was stressed out about what I was going to do.

“When you are on such a low income, and budgeting is so important to pay the bills, things are hard enough. Never mind when things go wrong!”

“Without Family Fund’s help we would have had to use credit, which would cost me. Family Fund has ensured that I have not gone into the debt spiral, and that I can still pay the bills that I have to pay.

“The grant has given me what I need, but has also given me the capability to move forward while remaining on a level playing field. That is so crucial when you have so little.”

“Family Fund is an immense support. People take your application, see what you need, and then try their best to help you. If you have something that you need but can’t afford, they will listen to you and try and help. You can alleviate all that stress just by asking for help.”

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