Ten year old Hannah lives with her family in Oxfordshire, mum Sally said, “In the past I’ve been put off applying to charities because of the forms, Family Fund’s was one of the most straightforward applications I’ve ever done. Since then we’ve applied online it’s even easier; not having to start the form from scratch every time you apply is really helpful as there’s so much form filling with our children. Family Fund knows who we are, and we can just get on and apply for the next grant.”

“Hannah has Downs Syndrome and Coeliac Disease and it was through her Pre-school teacher that we first heard about Family Fund when she was five. Family Fund helped us with so much over the years; a touch screen computer that she uses everyday with software to improve her spelling. Also an iPad, she finds it difficult to see our family television as she is incredibly short sighted without her glasses she can only see 15cm, so has to have specialised glasses. The iPad means she can watch her own programmes before tea, and she can be more independent.  One year we asked for help with swimming lessons with 1:1 tuition and it was brilliant. She would spend all day in water if she could, she’s like a fish.”

“For this years application we were thinking of something that would benefit Hannah. A few years ago we had a tag-a-long called a Tomcat and it improved her leg muscles so much but she grew too heavy for it. Then we were on holiday last year and they had a variety of bikes for children with additional needs, so we tried one out and she loved it.  The Tag-a-long now means she can go on family rides with all of us, keep up, and she feels the same as everyone else. She loves it. We couldn’t have afforded it without really saving up and asking all of our family to contribute on Birthday’s and at Christmas.

“Hannah puts 110 percent into everything she does, she’s so desperate to be the same as everyone else she gets incredibly frustrated. The gap is getting wider between her and her peers and she can see them doing tings that she can’t, it upsets her.”

“The Downs Syndrome team at the hospital say that one of the reasons Hannah has done so well is because of her big sister, Jessica. She has so much patience with her, Jessica will ask  ‘What are Hannah’s targets in school?’ and she will create games that incorporate those targets. She’s like another Speech and Language Therapist. She plays games, and she’s so inventive. They adore each other.”