Alice and Molly are sisters from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, whose family were recently awarded a holiday grant from Family Fund. Alice is six years old, and was diagnosed with autism two years ago, and Molly, four, is currently going through the assessment process. Their additional needs mean that Alice and Molly require constant supervision and care, and can struggle to communicate. Their mum, Ann Marie, first heard about Family Fund from her local ASD team, and decided to apply for a well-deserved family break.

Ann Marie told us that when they received a grant for a break, they decided to explore Ireland.  “Because the youngest has problems with her ears and has recently had surgery, we couldn’t go anywhere on a plane. So we planned a holiday to Ireland, to visit Dublin and Galway.” The family hoped that getting away together would provide them with an opportunity to unwind and make memories together.

“We had a really lovely time, it was just so nice and relaxing. The hotel was fabulous and was really family friendly, which helped us to relax. They had a beautiful garden to explore, too” said Ann Marie. “The girls got to go swimming, and we went on a barge, which they loved! That was Alice’s favourite part. It was great for them to try new things and have experiences which they wouldn’t have at home”.

The break didn’t only benefit Alice and Molly, but was a welcome opportunity for the whole family. “It was such a lovely break, and it was great to have chance to recharge our batteries and just to get away from it all for a few days. Without the grant, we would have missed out on a much-needed break and the girls would have missed out on so many wonderful experiences.”

“Thanks so much Family Fund, we had a ball”