Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

07/04/06 ROSIE COOPER SUPPORTING FAMILY FUND’S HAPPY BIRTHDAY SW

West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper, has pledged to support the Family Fund’s campaign asking Government to provide much needed support for families with severely disabled children when their child turns 16.

Rosie met with staff and supporters of the Family Fund in the House of Commons at the launch of the Happy Birthday Sweet 16 campaign. Family Funds aim is through the campaign to secure £5.7 million to enable the charity to provide help and support to 12,000 more families with 16 and 17 year child with severe disabilities.

At present, the Fund can only help families with things like washing machines or holidays up to a child’s 16th birthday. They want that changed so that families of older teenagers can also benefit from their help.

Rosie said: “The Family Fund makes a real difference to the lives of many thousands of individuals and families across the country. Through the support it makes available to those families with disabled youngsters it eases some of the pressures on the family. If we can extend the reach of the Fund to those family with 16 and 17 year old children it will help so many more families. Therefore, I’m delighted to offer them my support in their campaign.”

Chief executive Marion Lowe said: “Disability does not go away at 16. The help we give families up to a child’s sixteenth birthday needs to continue. Families still need help for an outing or a holiday, for example, regardless of their child’s age.”

Chair of trustees, Shirley Young, added: “We’ve made our case to government. Now we have to wait to see if the Treasury will let us extend our help to families.”

Notes

1. Now in its 33rd year, the Family Fund helps low income families with seriously ill or severely disabled children with grants for everyday items such as washing machines or with costs towards stress-relieving holidays.
2. The Fund’s Happy birthday Sweet 16? Campaign is seeking £5.7m (excluding running costs) from the Treasury to enable them to help an additional 12,000 families with 16 and 17 year olds with disabilities.
3. The Family Fund is funded by the governments of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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