Stories | iTRI

Dennis’ story

At Barnardo’s, we believe every child deserves to play, learn and live a happy life with the love and support of their family.

By taking on iTRI, you can help a child like Dennis, and his family, to thrive with access to the vital support they need.

Dennis was 10 years old when he was referred to Barnardo’s APNA Centre. He has cerebral palsy in all four limbs and so cannot move, eat, or speak by himself. He’s in a wheelchair and needs intensive and constant support. His dad works very long hours so his mum, Eva, is responsible for his round the clock support, as well as caring for Dennis’ other three siblings.

But Eva needs a hand. She was previously being supported for 7 hours a week by the local council, but that just isn’t enough. She was struggling to meet Dennis’s physical needs and she was scared she was neglecting her other children. The stress was even taking a toll on her mental health.

“With APNA’s support I’ve been able to give my other kids time, it really made a big difference in our lives.” Eva, Dennis’ mum

After Barnardo’s workers at the APNA centre successfully lobbied the council on her behalf, Eva’s support time has been increased to 19 hours a week. This means that every morning, carers from APNA get Dennis up, help him get dressed, feed him, get him on to the school bus, and are waiting for him when he returns at the end of the day. They even help with Dennis’ bath time, which frees up more time for Eva, allowing her to spend it with her other children. They can go to the mosque, play cricket, or attend homework club – all thanks to the extra time Eva has.

Dennis also gets involved – he attends the play scheme run by APNA. There, the children go on day trips to the seaside and the cinema, entirely supported by staff from the service, meaning the parents don’t have to worry about anything.

Start your triathlon online today and help families like Dennis and Eva’s to overcome their challenges and thrive.

Visit our website to find out more about our work.

In order to protect the privacy of the children we help, names have been changed and models have been used.