How setting up a just giving page changed things for my family.

Most of us find it very difficult to ask for help. It is often seen as a sign of weakness in society and a sign that you are desperate.

Recently I found myself asking for help for that very reason; I was desperate.

I had to let go of my pride and allow others the opportunity to support me.


Gwynne - 20151003 -33 - highWe were going through a time of crisis as a family as my son’s MRI results showed upsetting results with his eye sight. As well as autism my son has the genetic condition neurofibromatosis type 1 and a routine scan showed one eye has microphthalmia and his other eye has an optic glioma. Both are very significant conditions that require long term care and close maintenance and both can leave him blind. Currently one eye has next to no vision already.
He is non verbal with classic autism. He has global developmental delay and sensory processing difficulties. He has severe learning difficulties. Life is not easy for him.

My daughter also has autism and huge anxiety. She has mental health struggles and an eating disorder.

Both children require a lot of support and I am a full time carer for them.

My sons challenging behaviour and my daughters anxiety meant they would both benefit enormously from a room to relax and chill out in. We were regulars at special needs places and I knew both of them loved visiting sensory rooms. I wondered if having one of our own would help them.

I looked into costs, funding, ways to build one and equipment that would benefit them both. The financial costs made me cry. Even with funding support it was impossible for us to build a sensory room on our own. Then I came across just giving.

I hesitated.

Was it right to ask others to support us when there are so many other good causes out there? Could I swallow my pride and allow others to help? Would anyone even care?

Almost reluctantly I set up the page and put it on my social media. As people began to give I cried again. With every donation I wanted to hug people. Every email notification on my phone make my heart skip a beat.

Just giving showed me people cared.
Just giving showed me we were not alone.
Just giving enabled people who don’t even know us to invest in my family.
Just giving reconnected me with friends and relatives I had lost contact with as word spread and my image was shared.
Just giving made my dream of a sensory room for my autistic twins come true.

By the end of the 30 days our target was not only met but exceeded. We had a custom build shed made and installed and ordered the equipment with excitement and gratitude.


It IS making a difference. More than I ever imagined it would. Every single penny given has been used and has changed my family.

When my son is frustrated he has somewhere to go and calm down that relaxes him and excites him.
When my daughters anxiety gets too overwhelming she has somewhere to go to destress away from people and events that overload her.
It has enhanced and developed their relationship and brought joy to my entire family.

The room will grow with them and change to meet their needs as required.


Instead of crying we are now dancing together. We are more relaxed as a family thanks to every single person who clicked ‘donate’ on our page.

Just giving changed my family. It was hard to let people help but so worth it.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is really a sign of strength. Never be afraid of letting others help make your dream come true.

Just look how happy my children are in the sensory room.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible.

TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs



10 thoughts on “How setting up a just giving page changed things for my family.

  1. It’s easy to be cynical about Just Giving…. Do you know the person, is it genuine, etc.
    BUT! When my dad (who is a lower leg amputee)decided to spend his 76 birthday doing a 50 mile cycle ride to raise money for BLESMA I set up a page for him. (Mostly as colleagues at work were inspired and wanted to help)
    I do now use it to support other people … The downside is that I set the page up in my dads name, so when I make a donation apparently I’m ‘Tom!’
    Just giving is a good way for people to easily show that they care about others.
    I’m glad you are benefited.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How setting up a just giving page changed things for my family. | faithmummy

  3. This made me think about others reactions to disabilities. Generally we encounter very positive but sometimes a cautious reaction to Andy’s autism. Folk aren’t sure what to do to help though. They have no clue what to buy for gifts at birthdays and Christmas- quite often either do we right enough!
    People want to help and by giving them an opportunity to do just that they can show their love and warmth for the children and you as a family. It represents the love, support and respect that those around you have for you. I think this is lovely and so deserved. I hope it makes a big difference for you all. X


  4. Do you guys have your sensory room in a barn that is separate from your house? It looks like that from the picture. It looks AWESOME! If you don’t mind my asking (and it’s totally okay if you’d rather not say), around how much did this cost you? I have a son with nonverbal autism who would dearly love something like this. It’d be nice to have an idea of costs! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it is a totally separate shed 🙂 the shed cost about £800 custom built. We had some funding for a charity fir some equipment and we raised £2,000 via go fund me. The most expensive was the singing wall at a whopping £1,500!! But it total we did it for about £3,000.


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