A charity in Harrow has been awarded funding to support families with disabled children to give their kids the best possible future.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder, is giving £183,600 to Kids Can Achieve in Harrow.

The grant will fund the charity’s ‘Families Can Achieve’ project which provides support to families who have children with learning disabilities, so they can have the same opportunities as everyone else, helping to fulfil their potential, build resilience and access support at the earliest possible stage.

The money will fund one-to-one family support, which includes help with letter writing, learning about financial benefits they are entitled to and emotional support, weekly drop-in sessions, which allow families with disabled children to share experiences and advice, and individual and group therapy.

During the three year funding period, the charity will support 80 families in Harrow each year to have greater choice and control about care for their disabled children, improved understanding of their needs and new skills to manage relationships within the family.

This will be achieved through the provision of four drop-in networking and support sessions per week accommodating 40 families; ten creative psychotherapy sessions per week, available to 24 families; and one-to-one family support sessions that assist with practical tasks involved in the management of care for disabled children. This could involve accessing benefits, treatment, support, or educational provision; gaining a diagnosis or referral and ensuring referral routes are accessible.

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“Kids Can Achieve is providing a life changing service to families and their children in Harrow.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to supporting disabled people across the capital, particularly into further education and employment opportunities. This charity is providing young people with a stepping stone to send them in the right direction to fulfil their maximum potential.

“In such times of uncertainty, as we navigate the rippling impacts of COVID-19, the Trust has a crucial role to play in ensuring the sector stays strong and effective, particularly by helping smaller charities such as Kids Can Achieve.”

Ilias Kostalas, Operations Manager at Kids Can Achieve said:

“At KCA we are extremely excited to have been awarded a grant from City Bridge Trust towards our Families Can Achieve Project. This will make a real difference to the lives of families with children with learning disabilities in Harrow and will provide the help and support they need. At this difficult time dealing with COVID-19 and in the months to come it will be an even more vital service.”

The link between disability and poverty is well recognised: statistics published by Contact a Family in 2018, stated that over 33% of families with a disabled child face costs amounting to £64,800 from birth to 18 years, highlighting the need to support families to access all the financial support available to them.

Learning disabled children are highly susceptible to isolation, anxiety, depression and offending. These challenges inevitably impact family life – as well as impacting on the children and young people directly - and can lead to family breakdown, poor health and domestic violence.

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 8,000 grants totalling over £400 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.

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