Monday, 13 April 2015

Our Financial Support for the CF Community

As the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s grants panel gets ready to consider applications for the second round of health and wellbeing grants, Support Service Manager Becky Kilgariff discusses why the Trust offers grants, and the kinds of financial assistance available.

Sometimes we are asked: “Why does the Cystic Fibrosis Trust offer grants to people and families affected by CF?” The short answer is: “Because they are needed”. Now, in an era of austerity cuts and benefit reform, we know they are needed more than ever. Our Policy and Public Affairs teams continue to campaign for the rights of people affected by CF and their carers and families, but in the current climate, our grants programme is there to help ease the financial burden.

We offer a variety of different grants to meet the needs of the CF community.

Our emergency grants can help at short notice – they are usually paid within a week of the application being received. We offer funeral grants of £750 following the death of someone with CF, hopefully easing some of the worry for families at a very difficult time. We can provide a grant of £250 for those undergoing a transplant or transplant assessment, which can bring unexpected costs. This could perhaps be travel costs for getting to the transplant centre, or for a family member to stay nearby, and these can be applied for up to two months after the costs have been incurred.

We also offer small emergency grants of up to £150 for other unexpected costs or emergencies. This can include urgent household repairs or cleaning to remove damp or mould, or replacement hypoallergenic bedding. We can also fund the first prescription pre-payment certificate for people unable to meet this cost, although we continue to campaign for prescription charges to be abolished for people with cystic fibrosis. Thanks to a generous gift from the Edward W Joseph Trust, we’re also able to offer grants of £450 to promote increased care in the home, rather than hospital, particularly at end of life. Our advice to anyone who needs an emergency grant is to contact our Helpline on 0300 373 1000 or helpline@cysticfibrosis.org.uk.
  
Our programme of health and wellbeing grants of up to £350 for goods or services is designed to help improve the health and quality of life of people with cystic fibrosis. These grants are considered by a panel every two months, and the next panel meeting takes place on Tuesday 13 April. In the past, the panel has awarded grants for gym fees and exercise equipment, fridge freezers and washing machines.

Finally, we also fund holidays for people with cystic fibrosis aged over 25s. From this week onwards, these are administered by the Cystic Fibrosis Holiday Fund – you can apply online or get in touch with them for an application form.


I hope that one day we won’t need to offer grants for people with cystic fibrosis – beating CF for good would mean an end to the financial pressures CF can bring. Until then we will continue to provide financial support where it is most needed through our grants.

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