Family Fund disabled charity grants start again in Wales

By Paul Martin
BBC Wales Politics

image captionThe fund helps families pay for household items such as washing machines

A charity which had to stop awarding grants in Wales to low income families with disabled or seriously ill children has re-started allocating money.

Last month the Family Fund told BBC Wales it had stopped processing applications because of a delay in its funding from the Welsh government.

The charity said it had now received around £2.6m for the year 2014-15 and started distributing money last week.

The fund, set up 40 years ago, gives grants for items like washing machines.

'Continued support'

Ministers in London, Edinburgh and Belfast all confirmed in April they would be funding the charity this year.

The Family Fund said the delay in a decision from the Welsh government meant more than 500 families in Wales were left waiting for their grants to be processed.

In 2013-14 it awarded grants to around 5,000 families in Wales.

They are used to cover the cost of things like hospital travel costs, replacement fridges and cookers, holidays and educational materials.

The funding is at the same level as the previous year.

Family Fund chief executive Cheryl Ward said she was "extremely grateful" for the Welsh government's "continued support".

She also thanked applicants for their "patience and understanding".

"We will do our utmost to issue grants to families as quickly as possible," she added.

The UK government, whose funding is being spent on families in England, is contributing £27.3m, the same as last year.

Ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland also agreed to repeat last year's aid of £2.9m and £1.6m respectively.

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