Name: The Family Fund
Contact details: Unit 4, Alpha Court, Monks Cross Drive, Huntington, York, YO32 9WN; tel 0845 130 4542;
What is it?
The Family Fund is the largest independent grant-giving organisation helping families in the UK caring for severely disabled or seriously ill children. It aims to work towards “an inclusive society where families with severely disabled or seriously ill children have choices and the opportunity to enjoy ordinary life”.
Who runs it?
Funding comes from the Department for Education and Skills in England, the Welsh Assembly in Wales, the Scottish executive in Scotland and the Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland. It has a board of seven trustees
How much money does it give away?
Around £27m each year is distributed to the families of more than 40,000 children and young people living at home.
Who is the money intended for?
The Fund is open to low-income families resident in the UK who are caring for severely disabled or seriously ill children. Grants must relate to the disabled child’s needs and currently can only be offered for children and young people aged 15 and under.
What is it intended for?
Grants are offered to help families cope with the additional costs of bringing up a disabled or seriously ill child. Awards are typically granted for essential items such as fridges, freezers and washing machines. Financial help is also offered to fund hospital visits, family holidays and one-off awards that can make a huge difference to a seriously ill child. Recent examples are dancing lessons and a sky diving course.
How big is each grant?
In 2004-5, the average award was around £560.
Who can apply?
Families with a low income who are caring for a disabled or seriously ill child of 15 years or younger can apply. Alternatively, professionals can apply on a family’s behalf.
How does the fund assess eligibility?
Information is collected through the application form, over the telephone and through home visits to assess whether a child meets the requirements of the fund’s disability policy, whether a family’s income falls beneath a particular threshold, and whether the fund is able to help.
How do I apply?
Applications can be downloaded at www.familyfundtrust.org.uk
When should I apply?
There is no deadline.