In a Sky News TV interview broadcast this morning (Friday 1st April), Caudwell Children ambassadors Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice shared their thoughts on the cost-of-living crisis.
Michael and Paul are foster parents and full-time carers. They are fathers to two sets of identical twins, Lucas and Levi and Lance and Lotan. The eldest twins, Lucas and Levi, both have complex health needs, including autism and epilepsy. Michael and Paul use their experiences to raise awareness and understanding of the issues faced by families caring for disabled children.
Paul Atwal-Brice said:
“We are speaking on behalf of so many families in the UK who have disabled children. Caring for a disabled child can be extremely costly whether it’s the sensory equipment they use or the lift in the property.
“Our two eldest children have specialised therapy beds, which makes it easier for them to get into bed with a rise and lower function, a through-floor lift, a changing bed, a wet room and any specialised equipment that use electric to run.
“Numerous families across the UK are in the same position as us. It’s just going to become extremely expensive and many families don’t have the funds to maintain this.
“People will say “the route out of poverty is to get a job” but this is far from reality. Many disabled children can require 24 hour care and support which makes it impossible for a single parent.”
Michael Atwal-Brice added:
“Charities like Caudwell Children offer support to families who need help with their energy bills through their Warm Homes service.”
Caudwell Children’s Warm Homes service is free for families with a disabled child. The charity offers support with home energy efficiency, managing household bills, funding for new appliances and much more.
On average, families that have used the service are £1,650 better off.
CEO of Caudwell Children, Trudi Beswick, said:
“We know that the rising cost of living is having a disproportionate effect on many families of disabled children that are already struggling.
“I am so proud of both Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice for speaking on the cost-of-living crisis and touching upon the support that Caudwell Children can provide for the families who are struggling amid the rising living cost.
“We urge people to get in touch with our team and we’ll be able to carry out a complete assessment of your household finances to help you find the best deal and give your finances a boost.”
Research shows that the homes of disabled children often have higher than average energy use – with 60% of parent-carers unable to work because of their caring responsibilities – and are more likely to be in unavoidable fuel poverty or lower living standards.