Skip to main content

Rachel and Grace


We supported Grace with an autism assessment so that she could get the most out of her education

Single mum Rachel lives in Norfolk with her two children, Daniel (14) and Grace (9). Over the last three years, the MCF has helped the family with everyday essentials for the children – from school uniforms to bus fares. But when Grace began to really struggle at school, Rachel wondered if there was a bigger problem that the MCF could help with.

“I first got in touch with the MCF about three years ago. My children’s father suffered from mental health issues and wasn’t contributing to help support them. My dad is a freemason, but it was actually my sister who discovered the MCF online and suggested that I get in touch. Since then they have given me a lot of help.

“Grace has always struggled a bit with school. But when she hit nine everything seemed to escalate. When she had tests at school she’d get really frustrated with herself and would come home crying. PE was also really hard – the noise and the smells would upset her. She’d bottle it all up and take it out on me which was really stressful. She also struggles a bit socially. She hasn’t matured as quickly as her peers so she spends quite a lot of time playing on her own.”

Rachel was referred to her GP for an autism assessment, but was told that the waiting list was two years. She worried about how far Grace could fall behind in this time, but knew that she could never afford to pay for an assessment privately.

“I assumed that the MCF wouldn’t be able to help because of the cost, but I just happened to mention it in passing to my grants officer, Suzanne, and she encouraged me to put forward a request. The application process was very straightforward and the assessment itself was completely fine. It was quite long and I was worried because we were in separate rooms, but she was well looked after and coped really well.”

Now that Grace has been officially diagnosed as having high functioning autism, Rachel can work with the school to ensure that she has a suitable educational healthcare plan in place.

Having the diagnosis has been such a relief!  I’m so glad to have done it before she starts secondary school – hopefully  I don’t need to worry about her falling behind anymore. To anyone else in a similar situation, I’d say that they should definitely ask for help! I had just assumed that help wasn’t possible, but you really never know until you ask.

Our Impact

St Cuthbert’s Hospice

The Family Support Team at St Cuthbert’s Hospice provides emotional, psychological, spiritual and practical support to individuals, children and families who are affected by life limiting illness, bereavement and grief. Pathways through bereavement In October 2019, St Cuthbert’s began working with a wide range of people from the local community to find out what kind…

Read More

Hospice of the Good Shepherd

Bereavement Help Points in Cheshire This grant is helping the Hospice of the Good Shepherd to establish informal drop-in sessions in communities across Cheshire. These Bereavement Help Points offer a wide range of assistance; including emotional peer support, advice from trained volunteers, and printed resources to take away. They began work on the project in…

Read More

St Elizabeth Hospice

This grant helped St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich to work with primary and secondary schools to improve support for pupils following bereavement. By giving teachers the skills to respond to their pupils’ grief early on, the project aims to prevent long-term difficulties in emotional well-being. Bereavement training for schools In September 2019 the Emotional Wellbeing…

Read More

Bolton Hospice

Specialist training for local teachers The grant allowed the Bolton Hospice education team to develop specialist training for local teachers to support teenagers going through a bereavement. The training will help to improve the experience of teenagers dealing with loss, grief and bereavement, providing school staff with the knowledge and skills they need to support…

Read More