By 2022, we will provide 150,000 grants and services a year to families across the UK


grants and services provided across the UK in 2017/18

We helped families in every postcode area of the UK last year. Find out more about how we did it.

Our year in numbers

How many applications did we receive? What did families need most?

Find out here 

Our services

We provide other help alongside our main grant programme. Read more about our digital skills programme, sleep support, information provision and other grant support.


Discover what we do 

Other grant support

Alongside our financial grant support, we can also provide help to families through two other grant schemes, Take a Break and Sibling Matter Too.


Read more about these 

Voices of families

We are very lucky to have so many of our families write blogs for us, describing what day-to-day life is like, both the highs and the lows, in their own words.


Find out what they have to say 


2017/18 marked the first year of Family Fund’s five-year strategy in which we set out our ambition to grow the number and range of grants and services we provide for those raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. By 2022, we aim to increase the number of grants or services we provide to 150,000.

This first year of the strategy has been about laying foundations that will allow us to achieve this growth and ultimately make a positive difference to the lives of more families, outlined in our four key strategic areas.



Transform our support

  Four new grant schemes have been added to the Family Fund portfolio during 2017/18, complementing our existing offer and enabling us to provide grants to over 70,000 families.

  We provided digital skills training to 286 families, and we were able to assess the impact on the skills of parents and how they use digital devices to support their children.

  We continued to provide IAS to families through a variety of means, particularly expanding what we were able to provide over the phone by recruiting new staff, providing new training and implementing a new telephone system to improve service and call analysis. We were able to provide support to 796 families with accessing the disability element of tax credits. We have been testing new online tools to help improve the information and advice we are able to provide over the phone, particularly through use of the Turn2Us Grant Search and Benefit checker and the Citizens Advice information system, AdviserNet.

In 2018/19 we will:

  Continue to deliver our government-funded, grant programmes, those grant programmes funded by trusts and foundations, along with our Siblings Matter Too grant programme, supporting as many families as possible.

  Provide information, advice and support (IAS) to families at visits, over the phone, at events and via digital channels. We will scope additional options for delivering further IAS via a public-facing digital platform, including personalised online chat, as well as continuing to ensure IAS provided is most relevant to their needs.

  Train 300 families or young people in digital skills, meeting all funder requirements. Progress digital skills provision to include all technologies that are granted by Family Fund.

  Build on our work to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and maintain the highest standards of information management and data security, bedding good working practice into our organisational culture and particularly continue to retain our IASME Gold and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditations.

Reach out across the UK

By 2022 we want to be the ‘go to’ organisation for those who wish to understand the reality of life for families living on lower incomes, raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people.

  We have reviewed how we currently engage with families and have improved our internal planning, processes and systems to improve our ability to engage with families, and with external stakeholders, for instance through growing our digital channels (website and social media) and developing our partner engagement activities.

  Development work for a new volunteering programme has been undertaken. To be launched in 2018, it will initially be tested in Yorkshire and Humber for 12 months. This will support and enable volunteers, including families we have previously helped, to help us spread the word about our grants and services, to fundraise on behalf of Family Fund and to support our family engagement work.

In 2018/19 we will:

  Publish our commitment to family engagement and the ways in which families can interact with Family Fund.

  Launch our pilot volunteer scheme in Yorkshire and Humber.


Make families’ voices heard

By 2022 we want to be better known by families, professionals and supporters, as an organisation that improves the wellbeing of disabled and seriously ill children and young people through delivering solutions and enabling positive change.

  We recruited a Public Affairs Manager to help ensure that we are effectively drawing upon the voices of the families we support in order to help shape public policy. We have met with elected representatives from all four nations during the year, and responded to a number of government consultations, with two of our responses being covered in the national media (on Holiday Hunger in Northern Ireland and Older Carers and Hunger). We were also delighted that our Partnership Development Manager for Scotland, Salena Begley MBE, was invited to become a member of the Scottish Government Disabled Children and Young People Advisory Group.

  We developed a formal process for consulting families as part of our procurement work for new suppliers of grant items. Scoping work commenced during 2017/18 on developing a parent reference group, with recruitment to begin in autumn 2018/19 for parents to join.

  We appointed new research staff who have undertaken a range of activity including family surveys to inform our consultation responses, the design of a new grant scheme, and to help review our approach to family engagement. Family Fund also partnered with the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University to successfully secure Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding for a collaborative Studentship, to include a placement period within Family Fund. The PhD project will examine the cost of childhood disability, specifically in relation to autism.

In 2018/19 we will:

Continue to develop our research capability and to actively share the voice of families with the aim of informing and influencing the external policy environment.

  Develop a pilot Parent Carer Reference Group to involve families more closely in Family Fund policy and strategic development.

Secure our future

By 2022 we will have strengthened our financial position and diversified our income streams.

  We delivered the requirements of our different agreements with the four UK governments and have secured the same levels of funding for 2018/19 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with England and Wales continuing to provide the levels of funding stated in their respective three-year agreements.

  We have recruited a four-person fundraising team, with diverse skills and experience to help us build our funding bases across individual giving, events, corporate partnerships, trusts and foundations and community fundraising,

  The team undertook extensive work to put in place clear procedures and fundraising policies and to ensure compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation, the Fundraising Regulator’s Fundraising Promise and the Codes of Fundraising Practice.

  We raised a total of £117,000 from donations, gift aid and fundraising, and a further £827,000 from trusts and foundations, making an excellent start to our new income generation strategy.

  Our trading subsidiary, Family Fund Business Services, gifted an additional £400,000 to support our work. The retention of key customers throughout the year, alongside an expansion of the charity customer base, made for a strong year’s growth that was capped at the end by the successful bid to deliver BBC Children in Need’s Emergency Essentials Programme. Securing a partnership with such a high-profile organisation, to deliver a key UK grant programme to those most in need of support, is a substantial endorsement of FFBS’ strengths as a company leading the way in providing vital fulfilment solutions and grant delivery to beneficiaries.

In 2018/19 we will:

  Deliver the requirements of our agreements with our funders, putting ourselves in a strong position to maintain similar or increased levels of funding for 2019/20.

  Raise £450,000 through a mix of restricted and unrestricted funding from individual donors, trusts and foundations and corporate partnerships.

  Continue Family Fund Business Services’ new strategic approach to generating new customers from grant-making associations, charities and benevolent associations, with a target for donated income to the charity of £600,000 in 2018/19.

Click here to read the full strategy  and find out more about how we will expand and evolve the support we provide to families.

Contact us

Follow us

Get in touch

Email us:

Call us: 01904 550055

4 Alpha Court, Monks Cross Drive, York YO32 9WN

The Family Fund Trust for Families with Severely Disabled Children. Private company limited by guarantee. Incorporated in England and Wales. Registration no. 3166627. Registered charity no. 1053866. Scottish charity no. SC040810.

© Family Fund 2018 All rights reserved