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 88,407 grants and services worth over £33 million to families across the UK.
Our grants help break down some of the many barriers faced by families raising a disabled or seriously ill child, and cover a variety of things that may be of benefit, such as household items, family breaks and specialist equipment.
Sulaiman is five years old, and lives with his parents and older sister, Sana. Originally from Syria, Sulaiman was first diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum in 2015, after fleeing Syria with his family.
‘Sulaiman cannot speak, and often cries and screams as a way of expressing himself. He had several infections in his mouth at one point, but was unable to tell us, so we were unaware until taking him to a dentist upon arriving in the UK,’ explains his father, Abdul.
Sulaiman’s parents learned about Family Fund through a medical professional working with their son, and were able to access our website to find out how we could help without any problems. ‘I’m Syrian, but the website was easy for me to understand, and I was able to apply without needing any help. We received a grant for a selection of toys that he is able to play with by himself. One is a sensory ball with disco lights, and another has strings attached to it that he likes to take in the car with him.’
The toys have allowed Sulaiman a means of communicating with his sister Sana, six, who he had previously struggled interacting with. ‘At first, Sulaiman didn’t enjoy playing with others, and although Sana would often try and play with him, he never seemed interested in acknowledging her. The sensory toys have helped with that, and both he and his sister are now able to play together’.
‘We love the toys, because without the grant we would not have been able to afford them. He always enjoyed YouTube videos, but the toys allow him to develop new skills. Now we have options for him we otherwise would never have had.’