If you are raising a child with a disability or with a serious illness you really need to know about Family Fund. Established in 1973 by the UK Government the initial mission was to provide £3 million to help families raising children with disabilities with a promise of more money later. For twenty years the fund was part of The Joseph Rowntree Foundation but in 1996 it became an independent charitable trust. Now funded by the four UK Governments, charitable donations and income generated by Family Fund Business Services they have clocked up over 40 years and provided over a million grants for families.
Great eh? We received our first grant for a fridge freezer that had broken and things were a bit tight financially so when we found out about family fund we were so grateful for their help. You can obtain a grant to help provide essential items such as beds, bedding, kitchen appliances, computers, tablets, much needed family breaks and help towards hospital visiting costs. There is a criteria to meet for you to obtain a grant and there is so much information on their website at www.familyfund.org.uk I will just summarise some if the criteria for you taken from the website regarding disability as it does include information associated with Autism. There is also general criteria information here at www.familyfund.org.uk/FAQs/are-we-eligible-to-apply
Disability Criteria is as follows:
Children and young people must have a severe disability with additional complex needs, or have a serious or life threatening illness.
There must be evidence that the child or young person’s additional needs impact on a family’s choices and their opportunity to enjoy ordinary life. The degree of planning and support required to meet their needs must also be much greater than that usually required to meet the needs of children and young people.
They must require a high level of support in three or more of the following areas:
The physical environment
Access to social activities
Personal care, supervision and vigilance
Specialist resources, including information and communications technology, are required
Medical or therapeutic treatment and condition management
The child or young person’s condition must be long term or life limiting. By long term we mean lasting or likely to last 12 months or more.
There is no need to wait for diagnosis either so my advice would be to apply anyway, and just check whether you are eligible. I really didn't think we were at first and felt as if I shouldn't. I am a bit funny about claiming for some financial help as I just like to try to manage but you really are entitled to try it and it really does help with the impact of life when supporting our people with additional needs.
If in doubt always apply for anything really, they can always say no but unless to try you will never know. The people at Family Fund are really helpful as well so they will help to with your application. The grants are considered on an annual basis so you may apply again after a year for a child 17 years or under.
Family Fund also provide further discounts on Haven holidays, IT equipment at Stone Computers and extra savings at Inspire Travel. So if you haven't been awarded a break on your award you can still apply for extra savings. There is also 'Tired Out' which is Family Funds sleep hub. This provides information provided by organisations such as The National Autistic Society and Contact a Family regarding sleep issues and how to cope.
They really do provide a lot of help and support here so please visit their website and I do hope it helps you in the way it helped us.
Thanks for reading and join me again tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote'.
Take care for now........
Every Saturday I will be talking about Autism and will review any useful information which may have been highlighted at any support groups in the week.