Alex, 14, lives in Dumfries with his family. “Alex 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. I think the key thing is he has no imagination, and so can’t learn from experiences that things might be dangerous, or can hurt him. At 14 years old, he is already 70 kilos, so it becomes harder and harder to keep him safe. Sometimes it can take both me and his dad to keep him safe in our own house.”

“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, so we asked for help, and you helped us.”

“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!”

“It is moments like that when Family Fund just swoops in. They know that you are a disadvantaged family and they will try to help. It makes such a difference, because without it, how would I continue to feed my family? The grants help to relieve the stress of having to replace these things that we can’t afford to replace.”

“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.”