Rich is seven years old lives with his dad, John, and brother.

Rich has Cerebral Palsy and was also recently diagnosed with autism. Rich uses a wheelchair although he can walk very short distances. His condition affects his motor skills which means he can’t use items such as a fork or a pen.

Daily life for Rich and his family

John gave up work to become Rich’s full time carer, and is responsible for co-ordinating all his hospital care and treatment, as well as his personal care.

Rich is in mainstream school but attends the reception class, which suits him. He has struggled to cope with school at times, and can have challenging behaviour. He still wears pull up nappies, and will only let his dad change him. He is very sensitive to noise and sounds, and can experience sensory overload which results in meltdowns. Though Rich struggles with noise and sounds, due to his condition he enjoys focusing on specific activities, and he finds washing machines very interesting. He will watch and play with the washing machine for hours at a time.

Challenges for Rich and his family

The family waited three years to be housed in a bungalow which is best suited to Rich’s needs. The family receives Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credits and Income Support, and live in council owned rented property.

John said “We are getting by, but don’t have the money to replace expensive items."

When the washing machine broke, it had to be replaced with second hand ones which were cheaper, but completely unreliable.

"We’d been through nine cheap machines in five years. The machine that we replaced was leaking onto the floor, which could cause damage. Due to his Cerebral Palsy, Rich often spills things and dirties his clothes, so we really need a working, reliable appliance.”

How we helped

Family Fund provided Rich and his family with a grant for new, high-quality machine with a seven-year guarantee. John described it as a god-send, “it means everything to us”.

Read more about the #LivingWithout campaign by clicking here: #LivingWithout News Piece

Names have been changed to protect the family's identity.