Tag Archives: Grants

Money Saving And Financial Support Resources For Those Parenting A Child With A Disability

22 Oct

We all know that parenting children with disabilities or SEN is more costly for whatever reason!

That’s why I wanted to share some great resources designed to help such families save money and lessen the burden.

Help with the everyday cost of living

If your child is entitled to any benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) be sure to claim them as your child’s appropriate adult.

Filling out DLA forms can seem a daunting process but there is help out there. Many online sites have developed detailed guides to help you fill in the form to the best of your ability.

Once your child’s DLA application has been approved, fill out a Carers Allowance form (better still do it at the same time as the DLA form) This isn’t a great deal of money but does help to lessen the burden especially if you are caring full time and are not in the position to work.

Save Money On Days Out

Most major theme parks and attractions do offer special rates for those with a disability and their carer. I would suggest visiting your planed attraction online. All will need to have easy access to their policies relating to disability, access and pricing. Most of the large parks also provide special access passes so those who find it difficult to queue can use the rides exist. Note… Each park has its own policies but most will require you to bring a certain amount of identification as well as proof of disability.

Financial Support Towards Days Out & Holiday’s

The Happy Days Charity funds and organises holidays, residential trips, days out and theatre trips for children and young people aged 3 to 17 years with learning difficulties, physical or mental disabilities.

Individuals can apply for help with the cost of days out and theatre trips, while families can apply for funding towards a one week UK family holiday (though a supporting letter from a professional is needed).

Another charity that can provide assistance to families in need of a break are the “Family Holiday Association” who helps disadvantaged children and their families with family UK breaks. Applications must be made by a welfare agent exp… Social worker etc.

Below is a charity who have helped us fund days out to their attractions, such as Lego Land and Chessington. They have done this by providing us with complementary family tickets. Note… there was some talk last year of pending changes to the way the charity processed applications form families of autistic children so you should refer to their website for full details….

Merlin’s Magic Wand is a worldwide charity for children, aiming to provide magical experiences for those who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged.

The charity has been created by the Merlin Entertainments Group, Merlin’s Magic Wand is a UK charitable trust, run by a Board of Trustees. The board manages the funds and makes awards to good causes in the countries in which Merlin operates. Find out who is eligible and how to apply by visiting their website.

Its also worth noting that Scope have a special inclusion service designed to help children and young people with disabilities access leisure activities and facilities within their own communities.

Save Money On Travel Costs.

Earlier in the week I spoke about the disabled persons railcard which enables the card holder and carer upto 30% each of their travel. There is a yearly fee of around £20 but its worth it as you can save a fortune. I also highlighted how those claiming DLA who receive the high care rate and live in london can normally apply for a disabled persons pass (which enables the card holder free travel in london) You should check with the local authority or DWP about accessing this service. Those who receive the mobility part at the higher rate are also entitled to a blue badge which could make parking at hospitals etc a whole lot cheaper and easier. If the person in receipt of the benefit is a minor the child’s carer is able to use the badge on the family car.

Those in receipt of mobility may also be given the option of a car provided for their use by a car dealer on behalf of the DLA. This means a brand new car is provided to the family but the cost is taken from the mobility part of their DLA and they will receive no or very little cash payment (but will have the car for as long as they are in receipt of the benefit with the option of upgrades).

Financial assistance for home improvements and mobility aids.

That Act Foundation gives grants to individuals and charities based in the UK. These grants are designed to enhance the quality of life specifically for those with physical and/or learning disabilities.

Grants can be provided for building (modifications to the home)
Equipment (mobility aids etc…)
Financial assistance towards respite registered breaks.

The local authority/council can provide help and assistance in way of a disabled facilities grant. This is designed to provide financial assistance to enable families to make adaptions to the home as to allow the child with a disability to continue living there. Note: for those under the age of 19 years this is not means tested.

The Variety Club is a really great charity who provide grants and assistance to provide families with vital daily items that often go unconsidered yet cost thousands of pounds every year. These include things like bath mats, toilet seats, car seats and more.

Family Fund Is another fabulous charity that provide families of disabled children grants and vouchers for essential items such as appliances and more. They can even supply families with vouchers towards holidays within the UK and aboard, as well as some of the cost towards driving lessons to make live that little bit more easier.

There are some fantastic charities out there, set up to provide families parenting a child with a disability advice and in some cases financial support. Its just finding them that seems to be the problem for some. Those listed above are just a handful, there are many others available to help and you may be able to find the right service for you by visiting the one of these online directories…
Funder Finder
Living Made Easy For Children

Are you unintentionally taking from a child with additional/complex needs or a serious illness

28 Jan

As a parent to a child with Aspergers Syndrome who writes about the condition and runs a support group, I’ve come to hear about a number of charitable organisations designed to assist the child with additional/complex needs or serious illness along with their families! One of these organisations is the ‘Family Fund’ an organisation that’s aim is to assist those families described above in way of providing them with grants to assist in a number of areas. This can be in a way of providing families with a means to purchase essentials, such as a washing machine to replace one that has broken, a contribution to a parents driving lessons to make getting about far easier, family fund even provide families with vouchers to enable them to enjoy a family break together in UK resorts such as Haven and Butlin’s holiday camps. Some families are even offered assistance to enable them to enjoy a trip aboard and this is done in way of providing the family with ‘Thomas Cook Holiday Vouchers’ known as the “Happy Holiday Vouchers” 

 However, lately it would seem that a certain number of families are accruing such assistance on false pretences. This is being achieved as it has come to light that a certain number of applicants are falsely obtaining Thomas Cook vouchers, only to sell them on for their own financial gain.

 Family fund has recently highlighted how huge a problem this is becoming as more and more reports are being given by the public, all stating that they have either been offered these vouchers to buy at a reduce price, of that of their overall value, or they have come across advertisements/ads on Facebook groups from members trying to sell this vouchers. 

 Family fund regrettably cannot help everybody that applies and due to the growing numbers of applications made on a yearly basis, its pretty common for the fund to offer an award much smaller than they would have liked to give. The families who are obtaining these vouchers for they own greedy need, are actually depriving families who could really benefit from such help. 

 Despite the difficult funding environment of today, the Family Fund continue to assist as many families as they possibly can with the added help of donations and fundraisers stepping in to offer their help. The Funds last annual review of 2010/2011 shows how the fund was able to help support some 56,700 families across the UK. Yet, we now have to ask ourselves, just how many applications were in fact genuine? 

 What is somewhat harder for me and many others, to understand, is the fact that those selling tickets online are actually families of a child with a serious illness or disability! These parents should know more than anyone how much these grants make a difference to those families applying. They are not only depriving their own child, but hundreds more, by gaining tickets given in good will, only to sell them to gain 100% profit. 

 Have you recently brought any of these tickets? Have you seen any “Thomas Cook Holiday Vouchers” known as the “Happy Holiday Vouchers” which clearly display the family fund logo, being sold on facebook groups or pages? Maybe you have seem them on local parenting pages or free ads like gum tree or even Ebay as displayed here

 I decided to blog about this today as I have many parenting bloggers on my reading list as well as twitter and facebook list. Like me many of these readers/followers use such forums and I am asking for you all to keep a watchful eye out for these vouchers.

 If you do see any, or have accidently obtained some, please contact the Family Fund on their Facebook Page and help stop the unlawful selling of these tickets and also the reissuing of these tickets to the families involved! Remember, members of the Family Fund can apply on a yearly basis, we need to stop the scum in their tracks!

 Thanks for reading 

Claire Louise

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