Kayleigh is 12 years old, and lives in County Durham. Kayleigh’s mum began applying for Family Fund grants several years ago, after first hearing about the charity from a health visitor.

“We heard about Family Fund when Kayleigh was younger, after being given a leaflet with the charity’s information as part of a support pack,” explains her mum, Victoria.

“The application process was easy, and the lady who came out to do a home visit was lovely.  Kayleigh was five when I first applied, and when the lady came to do the home visit Kayleigh said hello and then went and sat in the cupboard. She couldn’t have evidenced what I was saying any better!”

“Her condition has evolved over the years. When we first applied she had quite severe autism, and we didn’t know how her social skills would develop. Now she is 12, and although her autism hasn’t gone anywhere, her social skills have improved quite a lot.”

“She has more problems when it comes to things like coping with change, but she copes amazingly well really. Day to day she still does need a lot of extra support. She is very good with her routines though. She is like the rest of us, she has strengths and weaknesses.”

“We applied for a fridge freezer that first year, because we were in desperate need. Then we were awarded a family break, because Kayleigh hadn’t had the opportunity to go away as I had never felt able to take her before.”

“We have also received a washing machine, a new iPad when her old one started to break and spending money for day trips. This year we got some garden furniture, which has been absolutely wonderful, especially when the weather is nice.”

“We probably wouldn’t have been able to afford any of these things if we hadn’t heard of Family Fund. It’s been an absolutely amazing thing that has happened. Family Fund has been like fairy god parents.”

“Every year we know they are there to help us with things we need. I am so grateful that we have had their help, it has been brilliant. I know there are many more parents out there that feel the same way I do as well.”