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Family Fund

(10 Posts)
dottee Sun 11-Apr-04 16:08:40

Good afternoon everyone. Happy Easter!

A month ago I reapplied to the Family Fund and my grant application has been accepted. I did apply last year as DP was unemployed and I was succesful then. DP is now in the process of setting up his own business so money is limited within the household so the Family Fund money has come in very useful.

The fund has raised the upper earnings limit to £23K (total family earnings). I'm posting this so that everyone can be aware of the Fund. The web-site is It was originally the Joseph Rowntree Trust (set up by the toffee factory owner in York).

This year I've applied for funding for a holiday and clothing for my dd. It's been succesful.

The funding is for families living in the UK caring for a seriously disabled or seriously ill child under the age of 16.

If you are a first time applicant, you will be visited by a local advisor who will suggest ways you can be helped.

coppertop Sun 11-Apr-04 18:17:37

This is a coincidence! Our portage worker has just sent us an application form for the Family Fund. I sent it off a couple of days ago.

Any tips about the home visit?

(This is our first application.)

Chocol8 Sun 11-Apr-04 18:23:22

Hi Dottee, it was suggested that I apply for this last year and I have only just (last Thursday) sent the (very easy to fill in form!!!) back.

My 6yo ds is ADHD and Asperger's, but is by no means seriously ill/disabled. I requested at the time, a fridge freezer (mine had just packed up) or a stable door for my ds' room (his one was virtually pulled off the hinges and he no longer has one).

Do you think they will consider my application? Also, does it go on how much you earn and if you have savings? Also, I heard that they continue for 5 years consecutively - is that right?

Sorry to bombard you with questions, but I don't know many other people who have been awarded this grant. Happy Easter

dottee Sun 11-Apr-04 19:00:53

Hi Coppertop and Chocol8.

It's as well trying even if you're unsure whether your child meets the criteria. The advisors are nice and there to try and help - that's what they are paid for. The earnings limit is £23K gross family income including ICA but excluding Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Disability living allowance, child benefit and fostering allowances. (I've just cut 'n' pasted that last part of the sentence.) Savings should be lower that £8K

Continuing to c & P, help can be given for:

'Holidays or leisure activities so everyone in the family can have a break
Washing machine or tumble dryer because of constant bedwetting or dirty clothing
Bedding and clothing to cover the expense of wear and tear because of the child's disability
Bed if a replacement is needed because of the child's disability
Driving lessons for the child's main carer if there is a car available
Transport expenses if the child does not get the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), but still has difficulty getting around
Fridge-freezer if, for example, the child's disability makes shopping difficult or if the child has special dietary needs
Hospital visiting costs such as long distance journeys for NHS treatment
Telephone if this is essential for medical or social reasons
Play equipment if this is related to the child's special needs'

I think I've made around 4 applications in total and have been sucessful each time. But it's a bit like DLA - you've got to qualify your request.

I've asked for a holiday grant on the grounds that it gives the whole family quality time with each other. Some of my friends ask for a leisure grant which is for days out but as we do actually try and take a holiday each year, I ask for the holiday one because the amount awarded is more. I do have to keep onto the holiday invoice for a year though as the Family Fund auditors can contact you up to 12 months after the award to see you're spending the money appropriately. Hence, I keep my dd's clothing receipts all year too. The split of the award this year was £380 for the holiday and £120 for clothing/footwear.

Chocol8, I have also been sucessful in an application for a fridge/freezer. I applied for one on the grounds of my old one being in danger of breaking down and (this may apply to you)not being able to shop with my dd in the school holidays as she has tantrums in shops etc. I mentioned that I'm aware of on-line shopping, however, I said that there are delivery charges and being on a limited budget, these were hard to find etc. They sent me a choice of two fridge freezers from Comet and I was able to select one.

Please feel free to contact me if you want any help.

coppertop Mon 12-Apr-04 12:12:52

I asked for help with finding/funding some kind of playscheme for ds1 (autistic) during the holidays. He goes to pieces during the holidays when he loses his playgroup routine. Trying to stick to the same things that his playgroup would do is no substitute either. He needs something with a bit more structure. I just couldn't face the summer holidays knowing that I'm going to have to battle with 6 long weeks of kicking, biting and hitting. Even a playscheme for one or two mornings a week will make a huge difference to all of us.

I also asked for a tumble-drier. Ds1 frequently throws himself on the floor or just lies down on the ground. I'm not someone who goes round changing children's clothes everytime they get a speck of dirt on them but ds1 gets absolutely filthy. He also refuses to have his nappy changed until it's ready to fall off so we often have to change wet trousers too.

It would be nice if the Family Fund could help.

Loobie Mon 12-Apr-04 20:41:17

coppertop i dont know where abouts you are but Im in scotland and we have the LAS which is our local version of the NAS,they run a playscheme for the 2 weeks at easter and for 4 weeks in the summer holidays.Ds goes every year and he loves it,dont know if it would be available where you are but may be worth a look into.

I applied on line to the family fund on the 11th march asking for financial assistance for driving lessons and havent heard a single thing back from them is this normal or should i contact them again?

KPB Tue 13-Apr-04 10:31:14

Coppertop - Another option for playscheme funding is social servcies, they are really good. Do you have a social worker?

coppertop Tue 13-Apr-04 10:59:24

At the moment we just have a portage worker. She's really good but this service will end when ds1 finishes playgroup.

The problem we have at the moment is ds1's age. His birthday is fairly late in the school year so he's still only 3. The local playschemes are all for 5-16yrs so he's too young for those. The schemes organised for 3yr-olds are in term-time only and clash with playgroup.

I'm hoping that when he turns 4 he will be classed as school-age and will find it easier to get a place. An SN scheme might be easier as he's still in nappies.

Chocol8 Tue 13-Apr-04 11:00:14

Coppertop - i know what you mean about the holidays. Where abouts are you? I am in Luton and every other week "Autism in Bedfordshire" have a drop in. The one in Bedford is in the alternate weeks. They are my lifeline and I can hand my ds over to a supervisor who runs around and keeps him happy for 3 hours or so, leaving me to have a cuppa, and chat with parents in the same situation as me.

In the holidays they arrange a playscheme too, though my ds doesn't go to it as he has a childminder who takes care of him. If you are nearby, please let me know and I will get some more details for you.

coppertop Tue 13-Apr-04 11:13:09

I'm over in Cambs. Wish they had something like that round here.

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