Grants for families
A list of national organisations who provide grants for specialist equipment, therapies and respite.
Sometimes families need extra financial support for specialist equipment, therapies or respite. There are lots of organisations who provide grants, and it can be daunting to start researching to find a grant that your family is eligible for. We have listed some national organisations who provide grants for children with disabilities in the UK as a starting point to your research. We have also included some other tips to help you get funding for for the equipment or therapies that your child needs.
Grants for equipment only
Children Today are currently funding specialist equipment, including electric wheelchairs, walking aids, car seats, lifting aids, sleep equipment, and sensory equipment.
The application requires a reference from someone who works with your child in a professional capacity. This might be an occupational therapist, teacher, social worker, or doctor. You will also need a quote for costs from the equipment supplier, and to provide some financial information on the application form.
The process for applying for funding from Children Today has slowed down because of coronavirus and can take up to three months to process. Visit childrentoday.org.uk/apply-now for more information and use the email address provided on their website if you have any questions or if you would like to apply. There is also a useful list of suppliers available on the website.
The charity provides grants for wheelchairs that the NHS will not provide funding for, or that parents cannot afford to buy themselves. You can find out more and submit a preliminary application for funding on their website: chipscharity.org/contact-us.html
The foundation offer grants for a wide range of specialised equipment for children and young people up to the age of 28 who have a physical or learning disability. Examples of the type of equipment funded include: manual and powered wheelchairs; mobility aids; specialised/tough seating, beds and car seats; sensory toys and equipment; room padding; specialised communication aids and software.
To find out more and apply, visit: elifarfoundation.org.uk/how-we-help/apply-for-a-grant
Florence Nightingale Aid in Sickness Trust
The trust considers requests for funding from people of all ages who are sick, in poor health or disabled, and require medical items and services to improve their quality of life.
The trust is currently funding items including: medical aids such as Nebulisers and Tens machines; specialist equipment like Riser/recliner chairs, wheelchairs, Specialist buggies and push chairs, car seats and harnesses; washing machines and tumble dryers; sensory equipment; communication aids; computers; refrigerators for essential drug storage.
Requests must be made on your families behalf by a professional who works with your child. To find out more, visit: fnaist.org.uk/how-we-can-help
Independence at Home
Independence at Home is a charity that provides grants to people of all ages who have a physical or learning disability or long-term illness and who are in financial need. They fund equipment like powered wheelchairs and specialist furniture, as well as home alterations like wet rooms. The grants given are between £300 and £600 depending on what they are funding.
Applications must be made on your behalf by a professional. To find out who can make an application on your behalf and to view the online application form, visit independenceathome.org.uk/how-to-apply
Lifeline 4 Kids
The charity supports children up to the age of 18 who have a disability. They only fund equipment, providing grants to purchase things like communication aids, wheelchairs and specialist computer equipment. To read the full criteria and make an email application, visit lifeline4kids.org/application
The Mobility Trust
Mobility Trust provides powered wheelchairs and scooters for people who have severe disabilities of any age and who cannot obtain such equipment through other means.
To find out more and complete a preliminary application form to see if you are eligible for funding, visit mobilitytrust.org.uk/apply-for-help/
The foundation provides grants and loans for essential equipment, including beds, buggies, wheelchairs and seating systems. Applications are open for children with a disability who are aged 18 or under. The foundation recommends that parents/carers call before starting an application to find out if they are eligible. Visit their website to find out more about the application process: newlifecharity.co.uk/docs/care-services/Newlife-Equipment-Grants.shtml
Variety, the Children’s Charity
Variety provide grants for specialist disability equipment for children aged 18 or under. Examples of the items they fund include: in-home and mobile hoists; orthopaedic beds, cots, and seating; personal monitors and alarms; sensory equipment; standers, walkers and gait trainers; specialist sports equipment; communication aids and software; through-floor lifts.
The application requires both a letter of support from a relevant healthcare professional and a quote for the cost of the equipment from a supplier. To find out more and apply, visit: variety.org.uk/what-we-do/equipment-grants
Variety also have a separate wheelchair grants programme, which you can find out more about here: variety.org.uk/what-we-do/wheelchairs
Whizz Kidz are one of the best-known charities to provide grants for wheelchairs in particular. They fund mobility equipment for children with permanent physical disabilities aged 17 or under where the NHS is not able to provide the equipment needed. To find out more and apply, visit whizz-kidz.org.uk/families/application-process
Grants for equipment and therapies
Able Kidz is an educational trust that supports disabled children and young people aged 17 or under with their education and learning. They provide specialist equipment, computers, software and extra tuition to enable children and young people to achieve independence and self-reliance.
A supporting letter from a medical or education professional is required for the application. Applications are made by letter and you can find out more at ablekidz.org/apply-for-help
Boparan Trust is currently funding equipment for children with a disability aged 18 or under. They fund a range of equipment, including wheelchairs, specialist buggies, walkers, sensory toys, bath hoists, and white goods. They also fund therapies, including speech & language therapy, occupations therapy, food therapy, and behavioural therapy.
Applications must be completed online or by email. A letter of support from a health care professional and an independent quote for costs from a supplier must be included in the application. For more details and to apply, visit: theboparancharitabletrust.com/apply
Cash for Kids
Cash for Kids provide grants for specialist equipment, therapies and activities for disabled children aged 18 or under who are from a vulnerable or disadvantaged background. Applications for grants are currently closed, but it may be worth reading the full eligibility criteria and checking the website periodically for when applications are next open. For more information, visit https://cashforkids.org.uk/
Caudwell Children provide family support services, equipment, treatment and therapies for disabled children aged 18 or under. Some of the things they currently fund include powered wheelchairs, specialised buggies, multi-sensory equipment, sports equipment, conductive education, and selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).
To find out more and apply, visit caudwellchildren.com/apply-support
Grants for equipment and respite
The Cheyne Charity supports children with cerebral palsy and their families. They consider applications for funding for specialist equipment or respite breaks to support children with cerebral palsy. Examples of items they fund include seats, standing frames, tricycles, powered mobility, computers and respite breaks. Applications are made in writing, should be supported by a healthcare professional and contain a quote for costs from a supplier if the request is for equipment. Only children with cerebral palsy are eligible for support. Find out more about how to apply here: cheynecharity.org/how-we-can-help
The Children’s Hope Foundation
The Children’s Hope Foundation aims to improve the lives of children and young people affected by illness, disability or poverty. It provides funding for things that will benefit a child with complex needs aged 17 or under, including medical equipment, computers, holidays and days out. Examples of what the Children’s Hope Foundation have funded in the past can be found here childrenshopefoundation.org.uk/howwecare.html
Applications can be made by downloading an application form from their website and sending to the foundation by post. For more information and to download the application form, visit: childrenshopefoundation.org.uk/downloads.html
The Family Fund help families across the UK who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child aged 17 or under.
Families can currently apply for grants for equipment and family breaks. Examples of the equipment funded include computers, white goods, outdoor play equipment and sensory toys.
There are quite a lot of criteria that need to be met for families to be eligible to receive a grant. For full eligibility criteria and grant applications visit: familyfund.org.uk/FAQs/are-we-eligible-to-apply
React helps families caring for a child with an illness which is life-threatening. They provide grants in situations where none is available elsewhere, for example if no funding from other charities or the local authority is available. They fund specialist equipment, household items, travel expenses and respite care. The application form requires financial details like parent’s income to be included. To find out more and apply, visit reactcharity.org/applications
Other tips for finding grants
Whilst Turn2Us do not give grants out directly, they have an effective search tool to help you find grants from both national and local organisations. Visit grants-search.turn2us.org.uk and put your child’s age and gender into the search at the bottom of the page. You can then select an option from the “health” tab to further refine the search.
Disability-grants.org is another useful website for finding grants and funding. The website has guidance on how to find the right charity grant for your family and a list of grants for children with disabilities here: disability-grants.org/grants-for-children.html
Get in touch with equipment companies directly
Many of the organisations that give grants for equipment require a quote from a supplier as part of your application for funding. Some suppliers of specialist equipment have knowledge of where families can get grants for their products from. Some families who are part of the WellChild Family Tree have reported success after contacting suppliers directly, particularly wheelchair companies. It is often in the best interests of these companies to advise families one where they can get grants and funding for their products, as very few families can afford specialist equipment without support.