Harry, 15, lives in Telford. He has Autism, and is considered as having complex needs, as well as Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). From Monday to Friday, he stays at a local residential specialist school, but returns home on weekends and during the school holidays to stay with his mum, Karen.

Karen was first introduced to Family Fund through a social worker at his school, when she began struggling to cover the costs associated with his condition. “Equipment for disabled children can be so expensive; Harry’s specialist buggy, for example, was £1700. I don’t know where they think people get all this money. I work part-time at a college for £8 an hour, so I don’t have that kind of money.”

The family regularly apply to Family Fund for holiday grants, as the Haven breaks allow the family a change of scenery, while also meeting Harry’s needs. “He suffers from noise sensitivity quite a lot, so when we go to Haven we call them before hand when we make the booking and give them the special requirements that we need. They are always happy to adapt, and allow us to stay in a quiet area away from the amusements.”

The similarity year on year comforts Harry, who has come to know the area quite well. “It’s a change of scenery, while still being familiar. We know what the caravans and the park are like. We tend to go back to the same one, which I know for some people would be boring, but it’s nice with Harry. We have got Dorset down to a T.”

The breaks come as a great relief to the family, providing an escape for Harry, as well as his mum and sister, who spend much of their time caring for him. Without a grant from Family Fund, however, the family would likely not be able to afford the trips. “It is so expensive. Family Fund give us a contribution towards the break, but if we didn’t have that a holiday would cost us up to £1000, which is money that I don’t have”.

“I have passed Family Fund’s details onto quite a few people I know who could be helped in the same way that we are. It’s a great support, and the help really does come as a welcome relief.”

Click here to learn more about Family Fund grants for Haven holidays.