Millie is 11 and lives in Darlington with her mum, dad and 15 year old sister, Maddison. Millie has been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, a heart condition, and is being tested for autism.

Mum, April, explains “She likes playing on her own, doesn’t like crowds or loud noises. She likes to line things up – shoes are her favourite – and when we are in supermarkets, I have to watch her as she will line up the tins or all the bottles, taking them down from the shelf.

Millie is also non-verbal, and April adds that “people will talk to her and expect a response, which she finds frustrating. She does Makaton, but in her own way. We know what she’s talking about but no one else does, and she growls when she’s frustrated.”

The family have used their Family Fund grants to go on holidays and have a break from everyday life.

“Last year we went to the Lake District and we had a cottage with a hot tub, it was on a farm and absolutely fantastic. It was so quiet and that’s what Millie likes. When we go away it’s just us four and nice really to spend time together.

“I would just say Family Fund are fantastic. For people who haven’t got much money you give them a chance to go on holiday that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

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