Charities to help with garden costs?? any ideas

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I have two disabled children, 2 year old was born with no immune system so he constantly picks up illnessess and my 5 year old is Autistic and also has mobility problems.

Anyhow i would love our back garden to be made safe for our children, especially my two year old as our garden is grassed and uneven, and the soil has already got into a cut the size of a splinter and it caused an infection which put him in hospital for a week.

We have been told that it would be best to have rubber put down as it doesn't keep germs but we can't afford it, and i was hoping someone may be able to point me in the right direction of a charity or charities who may be able to help.

We tried social services who said "we don't do gardens" and we had a grant at the start of the year from the family fund but they declined the garden, and i have e-mailed the variety club but haven't had an answer yet.

Any help would be greatful, were in the Manchester area.

Social Services should be able to find out if there is anywhere who could help your family. If your children have a Social Worker, ask for an assessment for safe garden play, and if that doesn't work,try writing to your MP, or your local newspaper. Sometimes a business may be looking for somewhere to donate a gift to.

If you still have a Health Visitor, ask her to contact the Lions and the WRVS, both local that want to halp families and small charities.

Good luck! Image
Social Services can legally provide money for anything as long as it can be demonstrated to meet need, so their refusal is a policy decision rather than a hard and fast rule, so you could appeal it. You could try to lobby your local councillor and try and get their support. You could try applying for it as a 'carers service' using a carer's assessment. Even though councils have discretion and flexibility so many seem unable to use it for fear of 'setting a precedent' sadly this is a catch-22 for you and your family.

Info on carer's assessments ... smentguide

As far as grant giving charities go, what about a local charity like the roundtable, or one of your local businesses, they might like the PR and often prefer to help local families.

One other thing is to call Contact-a-family - they specialise in helping families with disabled children and although they don't give grants themselves they may have a list of charities that could help.

Helpline 0808 808 3555 Freephone for parents and families (10am-4pm, Mon-Fri)

Good luck with it. Let us know how you get on.

We are back on the 'post code lottery' again.
Some areas can afford to provide what is needed while others can only afford excuses.
A bit of a long shot but what about a DFG? I know that is an unusual use but it might be worth trying.
It's worth going for a Disabled Facilities Grant because it is aimed at providing a child with a safe - in this case non-life-threatening - opportunity to do something normal - play outside in the garden.

It's bizarre to make an arbitrary "not in the garden" decision: isn't being in the garden part of a normal family life? The authorities are keen to demonise "over-protective" parents but don't seem to want to spend the money to help a little controlled risk taking! Image
Thanks for the replies, we don't have a social worker and the last time i spoke to my HV wa in November when she cancelled her home visit once again, so we have really been left in the lurch.

Social services didn't seem interested in helping us with anything, we asked for a downstairs toilet as my autisic 5 year old has mobility problems and has difficulties getting up the stairs to the toilet, they refused and sent someone to put in a hand rail to aid him up the stairs.

How do we apply for the disabled facilities grant?
Usually via your district council, it may vary according to where you live, I'd start by searching on your district council's website. Charles is probably more up-to-date than me on this so I expect that he will be able to give you more information when he next comes onto the board.
Parsifal is right, but you would almost certainly need to contact the Occupational Therapy department for an assessment first. Is there a support agency in your area that can have someone there to support you? I think in this case you're almost certain to need it, as very often social services Occupational Therapists don't regard autism as a good reason for adaptations. It can be done, though.
We decided that it wouldn't take much for us to put in a downstairs toilet ourselves as there use to be one a long time ago here before we moved here but it was took out but the plumbing is still there.

Its really the garden i need doing as we need somewhere safe for him to play as its not much fun being cooped up all the time but the soil etc poses a risk to him as he has no immune system atall.