Hi my name is Tammy, I have a 13 year old son with multiple health issues. He has Ichthyosis which means his skin is thick scaly and sheds constantly, and needs lots of creams and oils applying.  This builds up on clothes, bedding, towels and everything he touches, he also has bowel trouble which causes soiling. 

It is so important to have constant access to kitchen appliances, especially when you have a low income. If one of these appliances breaks, it is so hard to replace. My washing machine broke a while ago, and I had to hand wash everything, this was not enough to clear the build-up on his clothes, bedding and towels. This meant I had to bin lots of clothes, adding more expense to replace them. It also took its toll on my hands and back. Currently I am without a dryer and haven’t had one for around eight months so the skin isn’t coming off his clothes as well. Drying clothes without a dryer makes them go stiff and takes longer, which means I can't wash as much or as often. And with clothes being stiffer and rough, it hurts his skin.

Last year my cooker broke, I went three months without one. I didn’t own a microwave or slow cooker and having a fussy eater with autism, who doesn’t like food touching, it was hard. Thank god for great friends. My neighbour lent me her microwave and another lent me her slow cooker, but my son would not eat anything from slow cooker, and hardly anything from microwave. It’s so hard to make nutritious food without a cooker. My friend found a two ring hob she bought so I could use it, this was a life saver for my son. As a mum, I felt a failure because I didn't have the funds to replace any of these.  As a special needs mum, life can be hard enough. We beat ourselves up, when we try so hard, and things like this, that can seem small, become mountainous.  

I dread if my fridge goes, as I have to store some of his meds and creams in them. The work of charities that help provide kitchen appliances to families like mine will never know how truly thankful people like me are. I gave up work to care for my son when he was born, and as a single mum, all my savings are gone. Now I am trying to save for a new dryer, and will get one in a few months, please donate to these charities if possible, as all funds are greatly needed and appreciated. 

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Tammy is a new Family Fund Blogger.