UK children’s charity Family Fund has announced an additional £100,000 of funding for grants for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children in Wales.
Families will be able to apply for grants for essential items that help meet the needs of their children, such as washing machines or other white goods, or household items such as beds.
The £100,000 has been generously provided by charitable trust the Garfield Weston Foundation to support Family Fund to make grants to over 200 more families in Wales who have recently been unable to receive support due to reductions in funding.
This is in addition to the 875 families it currently expects to support in 2017/18.
Family Fund has contributed £10,000 in donated income alongside the grant of £100,000 provided by Garfield Weston Foundation.
Chief Executive of Family Fund, Cheryl Ward, said: “This grant of £100,000 is a welcome addition from Garfield Weston and evidences the need to support families across Wales.
Family Fund’s grants provide families on low incomes with what they need most to improve the well-being and welfare of their children, be that a comfortable bed, equipment to support their learning and development or sensory toys for play.
As the largest UK charity providing grants of this kind, we see families on low incomes struggling year on year to meet the challenges of their child’s condition and give them the best possible quality of life, despite often being among those in society with the least.
Recent changes to funding in Wales have meant that Family Fund has been unable to help the number of families it has previously, with families only able to seek support once every three years, instead of annually if they need to.
Garfield Weston’s generous donation means that we can now reach back out to more than 200 of these families and provide essential support that many thought they would have to go without.
We are committed to supporting families in Wales and are seeking further funding so that we can provide grants and continue to improve the lives of as many families on low incomes raising disabled children in Wales as possible.
Research shows that raising a disabled child costs on average three times as much as raising a child with no additional needs;*1families truly need our help and we are delighted to be able to give it once again”.
Family Fund is the largest UK charity providing grants to families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children and provided 88,119 grants or services worth over £33 million to families across the UK last year, including 1,686 grants to families in Wales.
Family Fund received a grant of £500,000 from Welsh Government in 2017/18, a reduction of £2 million from the amount it had received until 2015/16 of £2.5 million a year.
Case study: How Family Fund supported nine-year-old Alfie and his family:
“It’s not unusual for him to tear and pull holes in two or three pairs or trousers every week.”
Alfie has seven brothers and sisters, five of whom are disabled. He is deaf, has cerebral palsy and verbal and motor dyspraxia. His mum Carol, was awarded a grant for clothing for her son in 2016. Carol said:
“Alfie is a bubbly, active child who loves climbing, playing and jumping about, but due to his cerebral palsy and dyspraxia, he falls regularly. It’s not unusual for him to tear and pull holes in two or three pairs or trousers every week.
Buying him cheap clothes has proved pointless because they fall to bits within days, so I try and choose decent quality tops and bottoms that will last. I’m a working mum and I make do and mend where we can, but unfortunately it’s always a struggle to keep up.
We were awarded a grant from Family Fund which has provided him with hard-wearing, comfy clothes which will keep him going for months. I could even let him choose some of the things he liked in the shop, which is a luxury for a family like ours.
We are delighted that the new funding means we can apply to Family Fund again next year, which we couldn’t have done before. We still struggle to give the children all they need and deserve, but Family Fund is a life line which has been there for our children time and time again over the years.”