We're now urging families living on low incomes in Northern Ireland, with disabled or seriously ill children or young people aged 17 and under, to apply for urgent grant support for essential items, to see them through these final winter months.

The Minister of Health in Northern Ireland, Robin Swann MLA, has provided Family Fund with £500,000 of additional funding to support approximately 1000 more families facing challenging fuel and energy costs, post-pandemic financial and wider pressures and disproportionate extra costs associated with raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person.

This extra grant support will provide families with essential items, including children’s clothing; white goods such as a cooker, fridge or freezer; sensory or specialist play equipment or technology for children and young people, and assistance with much needed family breaks.

Over 80% of families with disabled children in Northern Ireland, who responded to a recent survey by Family Fund, reported being financially worse-off, compared to before the pandemic. In 2020/21 the charity helped 5,426 families with grants across Northern Ireland, providing thousands of vital items to families, including kitchen appliances, computers or tablets and family holidays together.

Cheryl Ward, Chief Executive of Family Fund, said:

“This funding is brilliant news for hundreds of families in Northern Ireland, raising a disabled or seriously ill child on low incomes, who have been hugely impacted by the pandemic and intense financial pressures such as the rapidly rising costs of fuel and food. We thank Minister Swann for this additional financial support, which will provide urgently needed grants for families- from clothing and white goods to play equipment tailored to individual children’s needs and other essential items.”

Families are asked to apply for a Family Fund grant before the start of March, by visiting Grants: Northern Ireland HERE

PHOTO: Health Minister Robin Swann with Emma McKeown, Partner Engagement Manager here at Family Fund