Happy new year!

4 mins read

Monday 1 January 2024

Tags: happy new year

Last year, we had the privilege of supporting 291,000 families across England, ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland with our advice and information. This includes helping eligible families increase their household incomes by an average £5,400 a year, through our Family Finances team.

We held over 103 family events which were enjoyed by 2,300 parent carers and children and our workshops, webinars, outreach or drop-ins were attended by over 5,500 parents and professionals.

More of you than ever before made use of our Listening Ear service to find emotional support, practical advice and a shoulder to cry on and over 20,000 of you are members of our private Facebook group sharing advice and supporting each other.

Help us be there for more families in 2024

We just wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the generosity of our supporters so, if you can, please consider helping us to be there for more families in 2024.

You could make a one-off donation or set up a regular monthly contribution. Or why not make a new year’s resolution to take part in our DinoDay Facebook Challenge in 2024. Join our weekly lottery and, like parent carer Samantha, you could have the chance of winning up to £10,000 every Friday!

Together we are making a difference for families with disabled children

Huge thanks to the thousands of you who took action last year to improve things for your family and others by writing to your MP, filling in one of our surveys or speaking out in the media. And with more than 200 of you becoming a Contact Changemaker, we continue to make sure parent carers are at the heart of our policy and campaigning work.

Throughout 2023 we proudly supported two parent-led campaigns: One to put an end to disabled young people being unfairly locked out of their Child Trust Fund savings, the other to make sure all eligible children have access to the free school lunch they are entitled to which was recently backed by Baroness Grey-Thompson.

We also worked with you to highlight the lack of holiday childcare for disabled children and the worrying 21% increase in calls to our helpline about children being excluded from school.

We continued to speak out about support for carers, the cost of living crisis and soaring energy prices.

And it was the year we finally saw the Department for Education publish its revised statutory home to school transport guidance for children of compulsory school age in England following Contact’s School Transport Inquiry.

More achievements in 2023

  • 355 fantastic families took part in our annual DinoDay fundraiser and raised an incredible £15,000 for Contact  – and we were delighted that 5 big £1,000 winners of our weekly lottery were all parent carers like Samantha.
  • Nearly 128,000 parent carers across England are now members of their parent carer forums, working in partnership with their local authorities, health providers and  education settings to make sure that services in their area meet the needs of disabled children and their families.
  • Our online Fledglings shop celebrated 25 years of providing products designed for children with additional needs in mind and we made it more accessible to families whose first language is not English by making it available in a number of different languages for shoppers.
  • We ran our first ever Rare Conditions conference in 2023, giving parent carers of a child with a rare condition the chance to meet and share experiences and learn more about Contact’s rare conditions work.

Take care and remember, we’re here for you in 2024 whatever your child’s condition and whenever you need us.