Sky Badger supports about 1,000 families every day.
We always keep the identities of everybody we help strictly anonymous but thanks to the generosity of the following families, we can share their stories with you.
These lovely families hope that hearing about their personal journeys with Sky Badger will also give you the confidence to find your own help with us for you and your children.
Parents have said about Sky Badger...
"...we really appreciate all your hard work, many thanks, you have taken a weight off our minds”
“Your advice and documents have helped no end as it has given me information to refer to. And documents to quote which always give clout. It has been invaluable to helping us through all this. :)"
“Thanks to Sky Badger, we’ve got our lives back.”
Fran’s mum and dad came to us trying to find out about what support might be available for their daughter. Fran is 14 and has Down’s syndrome.
Fran lives in Cambridge with her mum, dad and two sisters.
Fran’s dad is a University lecturer and her mum is a teacher. The family hadn’t looked for help for Fran before because they didn’t know there was anything available. Fran, as a young teenager, wanted to be able to do things that teenagers do.
She wanted to go out and have fun with her friends but because of her learning disabilities this was becoming increasingly difficult for the family to manage and didn’t seem fair to Fran to always have mum or dad cramping her style.
“Francesca is becoming a young adult. However, her social development is hampered by the syndrome, making difficult for her to maintain and develop relationships with her peers, let alone simply being able to go out without the constant supervision of her parents. This causes a great deal of frustration on her side.”
We told Fran’s parents all about what a disability social worker is and worked with them to get Fran some respite care so she could go out like any other teenager, go to the movies or out shopping with friends. We also worked through what other support there was including groups for Fran’s sisters to have their own adventures and be able to talk to other young carers about the challenges they face.
Now Fran has an annual allowance for respite care hours. More importantly Fran’s parents are much more confident in what educational and social support is available both locally and Nationally. This has empowers them to go into meeting at school and with their local authority fully informed.
The advice and information Sky Badger gave to Fran's family is going to be increasingly important so her parents can be dynamic advocates as Fran transitions into adulthood. They will need to have support in place in order to get the help she’ll need growing up.
“Without the advice from Sky Badger we would have never found out the existence of respite care nor of the possibility of having a disability social worker. These appear crucial services for any family with a disable child who is turning into a young adult.”
“We feel we are not alone anymore.”
Danielle spent more than a year in hospital battling a life-threatening brain tumour. She underwent 26 general anaesthetics, six weeks of radiotherapy and 11 brain operations. After her treatment she had to learn how to walk again.
Danielle lives in Bedfordshire with her mother Sally, father Paul and twin sister Laura.
Dani’s mum said,
“Sadly her illness has left Dani unable to do normal things her twin sister Laura can enjoy but she never lets it get her down. Danielle has a fantastic sense of humour and is a really lovely, special little girl.”
Her parents were stretched to the brink emotionally and financially. So five years ago their Local Authority fitted a shower in the family’s only bathroom for Danielle to use. This was fantastic for a while but now is leaking badly, with water pouring through the kitchen ceiling.
“We didn’t know what to do, the Local Authority said we had used our allowance and we just can’t afford to cover the huge repair bill of over £1,300!”
Daniella’s mum contacted Sky Badger and we found four grant foundations that could help. Daniella’s mum was also very worried about filling in the forms.
“We got turned down once for a grant, probably because I’m no good at filling in forms. It really knocked my confidence. Without Sky Badger’s help with the applications I don’t know if I would have continued to try. The forms make me feel really guilty about trying to get help for Dani."
We’ve helped Sally with the forms, applying to some on her behalf. Within two weeks Sky Badger found Dani’s family all the money they needed to have fix their bathroom.
“I’m on the Sky Badger website all the time now, and know that they are always there to help.”
Danielle also won the Well Child bravery award 2010.
James’s mum came to Sky Badger looking for advice and help for her family. James, aged 4, has profound Autism.
James lives with his mum, dad and little brother in Hertfordshire.
He has complex learning disabilities, struggles with speech and all forms of verbal and nonverbal communication. James has no understanding of the dangers around him including plug/light sockets, traffic and strangers. He also doesn’t sleep much at night, so the whole family are under a huge amount of stress.
James’s mum needed urgent help getting him extra support at school and advice about her rights at work as a mum of a disabled child.
“..(work) said they are not able to reduce my hours or take me off Saturdays as I work till midnight as they have no one to replace me, its killing me working till midnight as William wakes up at 4am every morning. Keith (husband) works most Sundays and because he waits up for me on a Saturday he only gets 3-4 hours sleep before he goes to work then I am up with James at 4am and the baby at 6am and Keith doesn't come home till 10pm so its a very long day and it has now taken it's toll on me as I am just so tired and ratty all the time.”
Sky Badger got free legal advice for the family right away and are currently going through the formal process to request the firm look into her need for flexibility in her caring responsibilities. Sky Badger also supported the family in applying for the new Educational Health Care plans (EHCP). Up to date advice about the new EHC plans is difficult to find because the process is so new.
“James's SEN statement went to panel yesterday and I received a phone call today to say that James has been accepted for the new EHC Plan, yipeee! This is the first step on a very tall ladder but I will get there.”
We also thought the family could do with a break so helped James’s mum get a Haven holiday with a 50% discount.
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