Contact a Family is delighted to announce we have been awarded more than £400,000 by the Big Lottery Fund towards our “Keeping Families Informed” project in the North East of England.
The announcement means the project is secured for a further three years – ensuring we can continue to help and support families in the North East and Cumbria.
Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact a Family, said: “This is fantastic news for us. Our work in the North East – like all other regions across the country – is vital in helping to support and improve the lives of families caring for a disabled child. This money will go a long way towards providing the key services and support these families need and in helping us grow our services in the region even further.”
The “Keeping Families Informed” project currently delivers a number of services to families with disabled children and young people aged up to 25 in the North East and Cumbria. These include providing information, support and advice on issues such as benefits, Special Educational Needs, sleep disruption, behavioural issues and managing stress.
The project delivers workshops for parents and carers, as well as communicating through a variety of ways including newsletters, e-bulletins and drop-in sessions. It also offers one-to-one support to carers via parent advisers who can answer questions and signpost families to the relevant local services.
The Big Lottery funding is for three years and will allow the project to grow further, reaching into the more rural areas of the region and provide more localised workshops for parents. Contact a Family’s work in the North East of England is also funded for by a range of trusts, local funders and other supporters.
Amanda Batten added: “We know from speaking with the families and carers who currently access our services that there is a desperate need for more local support. This funding will now allow us to expand and reach out to even more families at a time when there is a lot of change on the horizon for them and their need for help will become greater.”
Elizabeth Doyle-Davies from Newcastle is mum to a 14-year-old son who has severe ADHD and a 19-year daughter who has a social phobia. She says: “Finding support for my family whether financial, emotional or practical can be difficult to access. Having children with additional needs puts huge pressure on families. The benefits system is confusing and quite honestly the award letters are impossible to understand.
“To get what my children need can feel like a minefield as no one actually tells families what help they are entitled to. That’s when charities like Contact a Family can make such a big difference to families like mine, helping us find a way through and offering vital help, information and advice that is so difficult to find anywhere else.”
Contact a Family supports families with disabled children across the UK. Whatever the condition, whenever they need us, wherever they are. We provide information, advice and support. We bring families together so they can support each other. We campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.
Parents can call our free helpline – 0808 808 3555 –for information, support and advice about any aspect of caring for a disabled child. Find out more about the charity at www.cafamily.org.uk