Charity urges more families to apply for support for disabled young adults

9 November 2022

A forward thinking national charity scheme which aims to improve quality of life and independence for young disabled adults aged 18-24, is calling for families to apply for the much-needed support.

Faced with three times higher costs to raise a disabled child or young adult, the current cost-of-living crisis is deeply challenging for families – now finding it even harder to afford the things their disabled young person needs to transition to adulthood- including technology, training and leisure activities.

National charity Family Fund is urging families with an 18-24 year old young adult to apply for wide-ranging grants through its Your Opportunity scheme, set up three years ago to help young disabled adults lead more fulfilling lives and realise ambitions.

The scheme has so far supported over 2,000 families and funds are available to help over 1,000 more young adults by next spring.

Family Fund, is the UK’s largest grant-making charity for families living on a low income, raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people.

Cheryl Ward, Family Fund’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

Raising a disabled or seriously ill child is three times more expensive than raising other children .When a child reaches 18, we know they lose an average of 57% of the support and benefits they had before they reached adulthood so costs are even higher for families.

This financial cliff-edge can be very tough for parents and carers of young adults, but when the cost of living is rising ever higher, and families are having to cut down on essentials like food and heating, there is little room for the extras which improve a young person’s quality of life.


Your Opportunity grants include:

  • computer or tablet grants to support young people with further education, online hobbies and the overall building of independence;
  • transport costs for bus fares for appointments, or to support independent travel to clubs or hobbies;
  • help with the cost of membership fees, season tickets, computer games, and music systems to promote recreation and days out;
  • help with the costs of buying a provisional driving licence, and other learning materials to support driving ambitions;
  • white goods to help with independence, or help make mealtimes easier for carers;
  • sports, or lightweight, wheelchair to enable participation in sport activities, or access to activities that would not be possible with a day-to-day wheelchair.

The Your Opportunity scheme was initially set up in 2019 by Family Fund with a donation of £500,000 over five years from the Edward Gostling Foundation. The Foundation has committed to continue the funding for the next ten years.

The success of the scheme has also led to the Pears Foundation providing grants of £600,000 over two years.

Cheryl Ward added:

We are extremely grateful to The Edward Gostling Foundation and the Pears Foundation for recognising the need to plug the gap in support and we are proud to be working with them to improve the lives of so many young people, and we are committed to continue to grow this income further.

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