Abigail is mum to Lilly (5)*. Abigail previously worked at Harrods and applied for an FTCT grant towards new school uniform and a specialist bed wetting alarm for Lilly. Here, Abigail talks about their experience with FTCT. Image, drawn by Lilly. 

“Lilly developed Sepsis just before her 2nd Birthday. Sepsis causes kidney damage and has meant toilet training is an ongoing challenge for us.”

When I first heard about FTCT I was looking for grants for school uniform. I had just been made redundant with one week’s notice and because it had been so unexpected, I didn’t have any back up plan for buying the uniform Lilly needed to start school. I did find a new job, but it was for less money and on a temporary zero-hour contract, so things were still really uncertain.

“Prior to my last job, I had worked at Harrods, so when I saw the fashion and textile element of FTCT grants, I thought I would apply. I was a bit daunted at first, but I also knew it was the charity’s job to help people like me, so I gave it a go.”

“After filling out the enquiry form I received an email from the grants team who asked if Lilly needed any additional support for her Sepsis. I hadn’t thought to ask for anything other than the uniform! But our health care specialist had recommended a bed wetting alarm, to support with toilet training during the night. So we requested that too.”

“The grant has helped massively. Knowing the grant was coming helped me to budget a little, which took the pressure off daily life. As a single parent you get used to saying no to the little things, but because I knew we had sorted the uniform, I could say yes to the little things, like an ice cream on a day out. It also meant I could afford to buy better quality uniform items which I know will last the year, instead of buying cheap trousers or shirts which wear out after a few washes.”

“The bed wetting alarm is still part of our ongoing journey with toilet training. We have a very supportive health care assistant and it’s definitely making a difference.”

“To anyone else thinking of applying for an FTCT grant, I would say don’t hesitate to email or pick up the phone. The worst that can happen is they tell you they may not be the right charity for you. But they will always try and point you to another charity who might help.”

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

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If you're a parent working in the UK fashion and textile industry, your child might be eligible for a grant. Please read more about our grants and what we fund.  

Apply here