Three year old Lailyn loves going to the park, playing with her dolls, and sensory play. “She absolutely adores being outside, sometimes it’s a struggle to get her to come indoors”, her mum, Jade, told us. “Lailyn has Down’s syndrome, and her speech and language therapist told us about Family Fund when she first started helping Lailyn to learn Makaton. She was responding much better to the therapist’s Makaton iPad app than the cards, so the therapist suggested that we apply for an iPad to help develop her communication. It’s been brilliant and she has come on leaps and bounds. Lailyn has so much potential, it just might take her a little longer to learn than me or you, but having the technology really helps”.

This year, the family decided to apply for a playhouse so that Lailyn can make the most of being outside. “She loves the park and going in the garden so I thought it would be good to have a space where she can enjoy the outdoors even when the weather isn’t so nice, and we were lucky enough to be awarded a playhouse. Atlantic Trampolines were really helpful and Lailyn loves her playhouse. The next step is to paint it, we’re just trying to decide what colour! So far we’ve put in some big bean bags, and are hoping to turn it into a full sensory den, as she really enjoys sensory play. Her big brother finds sensory toys really relaxing too and it would be nice for them to have something they can do together, as it can be tricky trying to balance family life.”

“I wasn’t sure about applying at first as I didn’t know if we would be eligible, but I’m so glad we did as the grants have made a big difference. We wouldn’t have had the means to buy Lailyn an iPad or a playhouse without the help from Family Fund but these things have such an impact on her life. I would encourage any family in a similar position to apply, there’s nothing to lose and it can make a world of difference for children.”