Freya is nine years old and lives in Nottingham. Freya has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and often struggles in social settings.

“She struggles when she is in groups of people and doing new things” says her mum, Kirsten. “She likes her routine, and she struggles when it changes. That means we are always having to try and stick to our regular routine, and predict what is going to happen as best we can.”

“I found out about Family Fund through an appointment that my daughter had. A nurse gave us a leaflet that had some of the charity’s information on.”

“I found the application process really easy. We had a home visit, which was fine. The lady was very friendly, and it only lasted about an hour. I was a little bit nervous before she came, because I didn’t know what to expect. When she was actually at the house though, it was fine.”

Freya’s mum decided to apply to Family Fund for a pet, in the hope that it would offer Freya a level of comfort while at home. “We had been meaning to get a dog to help Freya for about a year. We managed to find some people who we wanted to buy the dog from, and I thought it would be a great way to help her.”

“I think it helps to calm Freya down when she is at home. We already have two cats, which she loves, as she loves all animals. The dog is better than the cats though, in that she is able to sit with it and give it cuddles and that really helps her to calm down.”

“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the grant. We were really struggling to get the start-up money that was required. We are able to deal with the ongoing costs, but there are so many other things to get, so it was never at the top of our priority list.”

“I would tell people who are thinking about applying to definitely go for it. It was very easy and straight forward, and everybody at Family Fund who I have dealt with has been great. It has really helped!”