“When you have a child with additional needs, there are many things people don’t see which mean extra costs.”
“Three of my four children have autism. Oliver is eleven years old now. He’s a happy and kind boy. He does struggle with verbal communication and has been attending a specialist school for children with autism since he was young.
“I first heard about Family Fund nearly ten years ago. I went to a disability show in Manchester where they were showcasing services and products like accessible bikes and wheelchairs. There was a Family Fund stall there, so I found out more information and then made our first application soon after.
“Since then, Family Fund have supported us. We applied for support with family breaks and were able to go to a Haven park in Wales. It was great for all the family to spend time together and Oliver especially thrived outside. It gave us something to look forward to.”
“Things were already tight, but then in 2019, my husband became unwell and couldn’t work. You don’t expect these things to happen and circumstances to change but they do. We were lucky we had support and family to help, but a lot of people aren’t that lucky.”
“During that time, we received a clothing grant from Family Fund which was great. Oliver had a growth spurt and with his Dad being ill, finances were limited. Oliver’s sensory issues mean he only wears certain clothes, so this was really helpful.
“We’ve also had a grant for a tablet, which Oliver uses a lot. It calms him down when things get overwhelming and helps with his communication, as well as giving us a bit of a break. The grants have eased the financial pressures that we have.”
Support through Child Tax Credit
“It was also through the Family Fund helpline that I found out about the Child Tax Credit. I didn’t know about it before. There are so many people going round who are entitled to more than what they have and I was one of them. The person I spoke to on the helpline explained how I was eligible and signposted me to how to make the claim.
“It really helps. When you have a child or children with additional needs, there are so many things people don’t see which mean extra costs. For example Oliver is under an incontinence team, so we go through so many more nappies, more wipes, and a lot of extra washing.”
“The Child Tax Credit has relieved some of this extra financial pressure.”
“I recently started my own business, investing inheritance money to start ‘Oliver’s Chippy’.
“It’s a disability friendly fish and chip shop which I hope will provide Oliver some security.
“We employ young people with autism and ADHD, and one day it will be somewhere Oliver can work safely. He’s only eleven but he already comes in and can do quite a bit (use the tills etc.) and it gives me reassurance knowing that he will have some security when he’s older.”