Alison* has two children, Ben (10) and Olivia (7). Ben has Type 1 diabetes and requires high levels of care from both Alison and her partner.

Although more than happy to provide this, as any loving parents would be, these increased care needs meant Alison was left with little time or energy to pursue her career as a handbag designer, which in turn left the family with very little money left after they paid rent to their private landlord.

Money was so tight even some of the most basic items like clothes for Ben and Olivia to wear to school were proving hard to afford. Ben also needed a new bed and bedding as his sleeping arrangements were affecting his sleep and his health. Even with severe pressures at home, Alison still found it hard to take the first step and ask for help.

There was definitely an aspect of wanting to keep up appearances and not wanting to admit, even to ourselves, how bad things had got,” she says. “But eventually we did accept that we needed help just to get out of the situation we were in because it had become impossible to carry on as we were.

After finding out about FTCT on the Turn2Us website, Alison made an enquiry and discovered we were able to help her with clothing and footwear for both her children – as well as a new bed for Ben. Despite being the lower-value items, she says it’s the school clothes that have made the most immediate impact.

"The kids were always going to school in old clothes because we couldn’t afford anything new,” she says. “To be able to take them shopping for new clothes for school, knowing that they could choose what they wanted and we could buy it for them, felt amazing. Olivia is so proud she’s always laying out her new clothes on the bed the night before wearing them to school."

“It’s great too to see what Olivia picks out to wear. This is all stuff we didn’t really know because we’d never been able to buy new clothes for her before. We’ve even had a little fashion show with the kids in their new outfits! It’s made such a difference.

Despite initially being reluctant to take the first step and ask for help, Alison has only one piece of advice for people who find themselves in the same position as her family.

Alison says: “Apply, apply, apply! The charity were so supportive and helpful and it’s brilliant to know that that help is out there.”

*all names have been changed at the family's request

How could we help you?

If you’re a parent working in the UK fashion and textile industry, your child may be eligible for a grant. Please read more about how we define ‘fashion and textile’our grants, and what we fund. Then, get in touch or give us a call on 0300 123 9002.