Hi I'm Julia Tyrrell, the founder of Disability Grants
So, what motivated me to start the website?
From reading the different pages on this website you may have already realised that I am the mother of a disabled child.
Over the past 15 years my family has used grants to help fund trikes, wheelchairs, adaptations to our home, medical equipment and specialist holidays for my disabled son.
With this support, my son was able to cycle back from school with his friends, join us for a family meal in the kitchen and experience the exhilaration of wheelchair abseiling.
His new wheelchair funded by one of the charities on this site not only increased his independence and mobility but also his street cred - Absolutely essential for a teenager!
Other parents and I were incredibly lucky to be supported for over ten years by an inspirational Family Support Worker who like a fairy godmother helped find grants for our children.
When she retired, all of us who benefited from her help knew that no one person was enough to replace this amazing lady. So, a few parents volunteered to take on bits of her job. I offered to keep parents up-to-date with information on grants.
In the past, I've been a parent rep for our local Parent Partnership and other working groups for disabled children. At the moment I'm involved with the Gloucestershire Parent Carers and Cirencester SCOPE.
And that's not all.....It just happens that all my previous work experience gave me the skills to take on this unusual project.
My work at The National Star College made me see first hand how young people benefited and the quality of their life improved when given the correct resources and equipment.
"Not enough money" was often the reason why these young people had not received these services or essential items in the past.
Frustrated by the lack of accessible information on grants for these students and parents of disabled children I set myself the challenge to create this website.
As I taught computer skills with assistive technology to young people with physical and learning difficulties I was very conscious of their access needs.
For me, it was essential to make the navigation straightforward with clear text areas to ensure that it was easy to read with text readers and specialised access equipment.
But how to do this on a limited budget with zero knowledge of building a website?
After many false starts - experimenting with various software packages I found SBI - an on-line site building programme. At first I was sceptical - Can I really do this? How can they offer so much at such a reasonable price?
Well! I'm pleased to say it worked! So, a big Thank You to SBI for their Action Guide and on-line tools.
How did I find all the grant information for Disability Grants?
At first, I included all the information I had collected over the years followed by internet searches until I found a wonderful application called Google Alerts.
Did you know that Google will send you e-mail alerts every time key words or phrases are mentioned on the Internet? All I had to do was set up alerts for "Grants for Disabled Children" "Grants for Holidays" ........and so on!
You can easily set this up yourself if you want to keep up to date on a particular topic or find out all the latest news on your favourite football team.
Even better....individuals, therapists, teachers and other charities have all taken the time to contact me to share their grant information.
This was great but it didn't allow me to make the website interactive.
I wanted Disability Grants to be a shared resource where everyone helped each other.
That's why we set the Your Grants - it's open to everyone to share their knowledge and experiences.
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In 2014 after much agonising the decision was made to make Disability Grants a Limited company.
It allows us to be totally independent and to campaign on disability issues without the restrictions that affect charities with the new lobbying bill.
Disability Grants is funded through advertising and is run on the principle of "Not for Profit".