Who we are

Image of Fund staff with a family we have helped.

The Family Fund is a registered charity covering the whole of the UK which receives funding from private donors and grants from the national governments of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Formed in 1973 to give practical help to families with severely disabled children under the age of 16. For over 20 years the Family Fund operated under the wing of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation but in 1996 became an independent charity.

Today, 40 years since we were formed, we are the largest independent grant-giving organisation helping low income families across the UK who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. In 2013/14, the Fund distributed over £33 million to over 66,900 families.

We support families by providing grants that directly relate to the needs of the disabled child or young person. 

Our vision

The Family Fund’s vision is that families with disabled and seriously ill children have the same choices, quality of life, opportunities and aspirations as other families.

Our purpose

To help meet the needs of families raising disabled and seriously ill children, removing the barriers they face and help to improve their quality of life and inclusion.

Our beliefs

  • We believe in equality and improving the well-being of families raising disabled and seriously ill children.
  • We believe in quality and efficiency, and we ensure that our resources are used in the most cost-effective manner to benefit families raising disabled and seriously ill children.
  • We believe that people working together can break down barriers and achieve positive and lasting change.
  • We believe in innovating and changing wherever it will benefit families raising disabled and seriously ill children.
  • We believe that focussing on impact delivers change and positive outcomes.
  • We believe in openness and treating people fairly.

The Fund’s eligibility criteria are set and regularly reviewed by our Board of Trustees. We work within an annual fixed budget and there is no automatic entitlement to our help. The Fund cannot assist where there is a responsibility on a statutory agency to help with the requested item and all grants are discretionary and depend on our having funding available.

As well as being a registered charity, the Family Fund is also a company limited by guarantee.