Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Last year, we provided 89,423 grants or services worth over £36 million to families across the UK.

We believe that all families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people should have the same opportunities as others. Beginning with the most vulnerable, those on low incomes, and considering all conditions against our disability criteria, we aim to make a difference to outcomes for children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses and the lives of the families raising them across the UK.

We provide grants for a wide range of items, such as washing machines, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing and computers. It can be a struggle financially, emotionally and physically for families raising a disabled or seriously ill child, and these grants help break down many of the barriers families face, improving their quality of life and easing the additional daily pressures.


Family Fund was established in 1973 by the UK Government. On 29 November 1972, Sir Keith Joseph, Secretary of State for Health and Social Services, told the House of Commons that the government intended to provide £3 million, with the possibility of a further similar sum later, to help families caring for a disabled child. This unexpected announcement was the result of a public campaign on behalf of children affected by Thalidomide.


The first grant of £26 for hospital visiting costs was issued on 1 April 1973. For over 20 years the Family Fund operated as part of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation but in 1996 became an independent charitable trust.

Today, we are funded by the four UK governments, private donations and income we generate through the work of our trading arm, Family Fund Trading. Over the 40+ years of our existence, we have helped with over a million grants for families.

We believe that our families face ever-present and substantial pressures in their lives. We believe that by providing grants we help relieve some of that pressure and provide vital time and space in families’ lives. We believe that this time and space helps strengthen the family unit to support parents in raising their children. We believe all children deserve the best possible opportunities and that, by providing these grants, we help extend the boundaries of what is possible.

Find out more about our impact.

Read some of our families’ stories.

Read our latest annual review.

Read our latest audited accounts.