Low income families experiencing relationship difficulties due to the pressures of having a child with special needs are being offered free counselling.
A grant of £5,000 was given to the North and South West Sussex (NSWS) branch of relationship charity Relate by the Kelly Family Charitable Trust.
And now Relate is asking people to come forward to make use of the service.
Relate volunteer Susan Millership said the team was “delighted” to have received the grant.
She added: “Relate have been working closely with Manor Green College in Crawley, a school for children with special learning needs as the headmaster, Grahame Robson, identified an unmet need for support for parents and siblings of children in the college.
“As a result Relate and Manor Green College have set up a scheme that provides subsidised counselling for families of children at the school.
“The Kelly Trust monies will allow Relate to extend this scheme to the wider community.”
Relate NSWS has also launched a Skype counselling service thanks to grants from East and West Crawley County Local Committees.
Susan said it was hoped this would allow those who couldn’t travel to Relate’s offices to access their services.
She added: “Bringing up a family can be difficult at the best of times.
“Families with a disabled child can face extra pressures such as dealing with the physical needs of the child, the disabled child’s behaviour, money concerns, feelings of isolation and the demands of finding the best educational and other provision for the disabled child.
“Siblings often find it difficult to get as much of their parents’ attention as they would like.
“Relate believes that children in families with strong relationships are less likely to develop additional emotional or behavioural problems and children with high care needs do better when their parents get on.”
Relate NSWS are based in The Orchard, Gleneagles Road, Southgate, and were founded in 1962.
They are a charity in their own right, responsible for raising their own funds and are members of the Relate Federation.
To apply for the counselling scheme, contact Relate on 01293 657055.