Reaching Out For Help

Chris Jenkins by Chris Jenkins Additional Needs

Chris Jenkins

Chris Jenkins

I am a father with shared care of my two children. My son has a life limited condition. Dads matter.

Reaching Out For Help

Being the parent of a child with additional needs, while trying keep on top of everything can be very difficult. I have recently been involved in setting up a 'lads and dads' group. As talking to others, reaching out and getting support is so important in anyone’s life. Unfortunately, I don’t get any financial support, so I must do what I can to fundraise for his day-to-day needs. Sometimes this is hard, but I'm lucky to have a group of friends that I can lean on for support.

Challenges I face

Having a child with severe disabilities comes with lots of equipment. Boxes of medicines, feeds, incontinence pads and much more that is required, to make sure that their life is a fulfilled one. The challenge I faced was that my house was becoming more and more cluttered with these items. It was difficult to find space where I could put all the things that I needed to for my son Joey. Ideally, I needed a storage unit that could house all of Joeys equipment.

Like I said before, sadly I don’t get financial assistance through any of my son’s benefits. So, I reached out to a charity, Tree of Hope and they helped me fund the storage shed! I managed to acquire one that fit perfectly at the side of our house. However, I struggled finding the time between working full-time and being Joey’s carer to build the shed.

Reaching out for help

So, I turned to the lads and dads’ group. A group of people of which I am a proud committee member, stepped up and said, “don’t worry we will help”. So, 3 guys, who little more than 2 years ago were total strangers. Came around and built this for me in their spare time, knowing that it would be life changing for our family. It may sound silly that a storage unit could be life changing… but for us, it isn’t. It has freed up room in the house and in my son’s room.

The main takeaway point from this, is please don’t be afraid to reach out. If there are local support groups in your area, please contact them. And if there isn’t, be a leading force in your community and set up a group for people to help and support each other no matter what you’re going through. I am lucky to be part of such a group who look out for me, my family, and my son. And I know they will be there to help if I need anything in the future.

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