“After speaking with Hayley or Robert at TACT about my son’s latest activity and development and after I pluck up the courage to ask for help, financially speaking, I always have an immense feeling of relief washing over me.
More often than not, I need to say “no” to treats and special purchases because I just don’t have the money, the will is there to say yes, but the bank balance isn’t. So I know that after we’ve spoken over the telephone that soon a cheque will arrive in the post.
Then the envelope arrives, that almost familiar hand writing, but I am never quite sure, is it or isn’t Hayley’s. I pick up the envelope with hope and sure enough, once I dive in to it, within is indeed a cheque. I can only describe the feeling as triumph, momentary elation and a quick scramble through my mental wish list for what might now become possible for my son. Being able to say “yes” is such a wonderful feeling for me and really does take away that lurking terror due to lack of money.
TACT’s funding has helped me with summer activities and treats, clothing grants, which is a huge help when it comes to buying school uniform and shoes. Because my son has learning difficulties and is currently studying to the GCSE syllabus, he really needs extra support and TACT fund a private tutor to help him with English and Maths.
TACT has helped me enormously over the past eight years, being a single parent has made paying for anything beyond the necessary, impossible and TACT has taken the edge off that backdrop. The help takes away the ‘single’ for a while and the feeling of backup is an absolute blessing.
I am so grateful to TACT, who put the ‘human’ back in humanity. Thank you.”
A father in grief, took up running after the loss of his daughter and in his own words: “To have space to just think, I needed time to grieve and think of my daughter and how happy she made me.”
He and his partner lost their daughter on 24 November 2008 to chronic lung disease and other problems due to being born prematurely at 25 weeks at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Running soon turned into training sessions three times a week and thoughts of doing the London Marathon. After running for four months and alternating 15-mile runs with shorter runs and building-up endurance and stamina, the 26 miles were run in four hours and 48 minutes and raising £1,700 for TACT.
This year’s plans include doing it all over again: “I am a man of my word and so heartened by Eddie Izzard’s goliath Marathon efforts.”
“My partner, myself and our families were at our wits end during that time and spent ten months in hospital with our daughter. It was our Social Worker who brought TACT to our attention. I telephoned TACT and spoke with Robert who explained how they could help us.”
“Our bank was refusing us a payment holiday and defaulting on our mortgage meant we were in trouble. The first thing TACT did was put money into our bank account so we could keep the mortgage payments going, without any conditions or strings attached. Robert and Hayley came to feel like a part of our family and always asked about both our children’s progress. Our son was just 2 1/2 years old at the time and it was very important to us that we continued his day nursery, TACT completely took care of this for us.”
“TACT visited us in hospital and provided us with play equipment for our daughter a new car seat for our son, which at the time we could little afford. They also provided us with all kinds of important information including details of other charities who could offer help. TACT even offered to fund our daughter’s funeral costs but being a proud man, it was important for me that I did this. Some time after she died we took our son to Disneyland in Paris, which TACT funded. We can’t thank TACT enough for what they have done for our family and they will always remain very close to our hearts. The kindness of strangers touched us and astonished us, by being so supportive, TACT opened real doors for us and lifted a huge wait off our shoulders. We didn’t have to worry about watching every penny.”
The family has set-up their own charity called ‘Phoebe’s Friends’ aimed at new parents whose babies are in neonatal and special care baby units. The charity gives parents free Gift Packs, which are full of vital goodies during the early days.
Some thoughts from parents whose children TACT supports
"We have found TACT invaluable – it has made such a difference both to us and our children – not just their basic needs (clothes, childcare costs) but allowing them to pursue extra-curricular activities and develop their talents which we would not otherwise be able to pay for."
“It has restored my faith in human nature. TACT does good deeds quietly, without fanfare, asking nothing in return.“
“Sympathetic, understanding and wonderful with advice as to how to go about getting other support.”
“If you are a single parent with no family back-up then TACT gives a great sense of support, especially as acting work is so sporadic these days.“
“I feel like we’ve been adopted! The practical help is a godsend but also the feeling that someone cares is beyond value.”
“Thank you for your help. I appreciate the fact that TACT is quite relaxed with no big interrogation or sense of shame.”
“Just stay as you are. Kindness sadly is rare today. Children know.”