Our impact Real stories Barbara and Jake Barbara and her son Jake (7) received a grant for white goods and new clothing for Jake. Barbara used to work for the high street retailer Bonmarche and heard about FTCT through Facebook. Here, Barbara talks about their experience of applying for and receiving their grant. "My husband and I separated in 2019, but even before he left we weren’t doing well financially. The washing machine was already leaking and the freezer wasn’t working properly. When he left, I applied for Universal Credit to support myself and my son." "White goods are expensive and to need to buy two at once, is an impossible task. It would have taken me a year or more to save up for them myself. Often people think you just need to be better with your money, but if you’re stuck with very little money in the beginning, it is almost impossible." Barbara found out about FTCT on her friends Facebook group. After realising her job at Bonmarche would qualify as fashion and textiles, she decided to make an enquiry. Barbara had some initial reservations though, "I felt nervous at first. I hadn’t ever asked for help and I didn’t know what to expect or what the outcome would be. But I just thought, why not, the worst thing they can do is say no." Once her enquiry had been submitted, Barbara was soon sent an application form. "The form was easy to fill in and didn’t take much time. I remember receiving a phonecall from the grants team asking if Jake also needed a grant for clothing. I couldn’t believe it, everyone at FTCT made me feel like they really cared." When I got the email saying we had got the grant I burst into tears. I told Jake as soon as I picked him up from school and he was so happy. He said, “Mummy can we order those new things now.” He knew we needed the white goods, but I told him we just had to wait and see if we could get them. His face when we went shopping for his clothes too, he was so happy. "The new washing machine and freezer are making such a difference. Now Jake can actually have clean clothes and walks into school with a sense of pride and feels good about himself. The freezer now keeps our food properly and I can feel confident it is safe to eat. It’s nice to have new things, but now these items have helped to make our house feel like a home." Barbara wanted to offer her advice to any parents feeling nervous about applying to FTCT. "I would say don’t give up. You have nothing to lose but something to gain. It’s more than just things you’re applying for, getting that grant and knowing you have provided for your child is worth so much more." 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.