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 over 150,000 grants or services worth over £48 million to families across the UK.
Our purpose is to improve the lives of low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people.
Our mission is to provide items and services to all low-income families in the UK raising disabled or seriously ill children, that they could not otherwise afford or access, and that help improve their quality of life, realise their rights, and remove some of the barriers they face.
Our vision is that all families raising disabled or seriously ill children have the same choices, quality of life, opportunities and aspirations as other families.
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. 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 Business Services. 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.
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