The Department for Education has confirmed that it will maintain its £27.3 million annual funding for Family Fund for three years from 2017-18.

This commitment, worth £81.9 million in total, ensures that tens of thousands of families in England will be able to rely on the extra support Family Fund provides until 2020.

Family Fund supported 58,621 families in England with grants for essential items in 2015-16, an increase of almost 12,000 in the last five years. We expect to have helped a similar number by the end of 2016-17.

Families can apply for grants for items that will ease the day-to-day pressures that many families face raising a disabled child or young person, such as kitchen appliances, clothing, bedding, sensory toys, tablets and computers, and family breaks.

Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families Edward Timpson MP met yesterday with staff and families who had received support from Family Fund to find out more about what a difference the grants had made.

He said “No child, regardless of the obstacles they face, should miss out on vital life experiences. I’m delighted to confirm that we will be giving Family Fund £81.9 million over the next three years, in recognition of the life-changing support it gives to families.

“This important work was brought to life thanks to the heartfelt stories of the parents and young people who took part in our meeting. I hope this announcement gives Family Fund the confidence to continue their work to help thousands of families across the country.”

Cheryl Ward, Chief Executive of Family Fund, said “This significant commitment from the Department for Education will make an incredible difference to the families we support and we are thrilled.

“Our grants provide practical and essential support and help improve the quality of life and ease some of the additional daily pressures faced by many families.

“The security of three years’ funding allows Family Fund to plan ahead to deliver our grants and services with confidence and, most importantly, will mean a reliable source of support for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people across England. We will work hard to ensure this funding supports as many families as possible.”

The funding will cover 2017-18 to 2019-20 inclusive.

Find out more about how to apply for a grant.