We have had to provide additional emotional support in response to being inundated with messages from our families suffering with extreme stress and anxiety from the rising cost of energy and increased cost of living. Many of our families were already struggling to cope with the increased cost of petrol, seeing as it is very expensive to fill an entire tank of a disability motor vehicle due to its sheer size. Similarly, countless families require the use of large amounts of energy to be able to heat their children with temperature control conditions, to continuously power vents and breathing apparatus for their children with respiratory conditions, along with charging wheelchairs, hoists, lifts and other equipment. In April our families received a new predicted energy bill of between £300 and £400 per month for the summer. As you can imagine, this cost is simply not feasible for a family with a child that requires 2-1 care and as a result survive purely on income support and carers allowance to care for their child full time.
We identified families that we consider to be some of the most clinically vulnerable children in the UK, who are subsequently being pushed well below the poverty line due to these increased costs. We have provided £45,000 of direct support to date towards the cost of fuel and food for these families to ease some of their financial burden and daily stresses.