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Camilla's Story: The Turn2us Response Fund

Specialist help and support from Turn2us meant Camilla’s new baby could come home to be with the rest of his family.

Baby asleep in a pram
None of this could have happened without the help and support we’ve had,” she says. “We were very, very happy to have received that help. We appreciate it so much.”

Camilla, Turn2us Response Fund grant recipient
 

When mum-of-four Camilla’s daughter was born with a severe disability, her family’s life changed overnight. For over a year she had to be there by her side at the hospital – which meant leaving her job. Unsurprisingly, Camilla remembers this as “a very stressful time”. To add to the stress, the family were caught in a dilemma. Her daughter couldn’t come home until their new house was adapted to her special needs. But with less money coming through the door, this seemed impossible to make happen.

“We didn’t know how long housing was going to take,” she says. “Then, eventually, when [the new house] came but there was still the issue of how we were going to set it up because we didn’t have the money. A lot of the things we needed for the new house, we couldn’t actually afford to get.”

Trying to make ends meet

To add to the financial strain, her husband had to reduce his working hours to look after the family’s three older children.

“Because of the reduction in income due to me not working, and my husband trying to cover everything on his salary alone, we were really stretched,” she says. “There was so much going on, so many changes. So it was a lot of stress.”

Camilla desperately needed extra support, but wasn’t sure where to get it. Her extended family tried to help where they could, but they had children and full-time jobs of their own. Meanwhile, nurses at the hospital suggested she could get benefits, yet it was left to Camilla to work out how to claim them.

Accessing the right support

It was Camilla’s Welfare Adviser that recommended she got in contact with Turn2us. Camilla phoned them and was taken through the benefits available, like the Disability Living Allowance. She was also told where she could get local counselling. 

“It was really helpful,” she says. “They told me about the charity and families that they’ve helped as well as the different things that I might be entitled to as well.”

“This was really helpful for us. We’ve always been working. We didn’t have any idea how to go about these things, what we were entitled to and how to access it.”

During this tough time, Camilla’s three older children also shared the stress of not knowing what was going to happen next.

“It was a bit difficult for the children because I was stuck in the hospital and their dad’s worked. It meant they don’t get to really do much,” she explains. “It was a lot of change for them too; they had to adjust to the baby finally coming home.”

To make things a bit easier, Camilla was able to apply for a grant through Turn2us, which helped make the new house a family home for everyone. Some of the money went to buy new furnishings to keep the family warm. She also bought a new bed for her daughter, who had her own room for the first time.

“She absolutely loved it,” says Camilla. “Seeing her face light up and knowing that it’s been such a tough year with so much happening. It was really nice for us to know that we were able to get those things to make it more of a home for them.”

Bringing the family together

Now, with all the family together in one house, life feels a lot less stressful.

“Things are very good now, to be honest,” says Camilla. “We do still struggle as a family sometimes, because of the adjustments we had to make”

Camilla adds that, without the grant, the family would probably have ended up in debt to furnish the house, which they’d find very hard to pay back.

 

Father and daughter sitting on a sofa

Turn2us Response Fund

Help for people who have experienced a life-changing event in the past 12 months.

Learn more about the Turn2us Response Fund