It’s the worry that is always in the back of the mind of every parent of a child with special needs – what would happen if you weren’t there to care for them?
It’s also one of the big questions that parents are most reluctant to have to face and deal with.
Which is why Daisy Chain is delighted that Vintage Chartered Financial Planners in Stockton has offered support to the parents and carers of children affected by autism who access their services.
The company, based at Preston Farm, wanted to give back to the community and their support of the autism charity presented an ideal opportunity to offer the advice and guidance parents are often reluctant to seek out.
An event has already been held, along with guest presenters Coles solicitors, for parents of children aged 15 and over to look at financial planning for the future.
Karen Parker, Vintage, communications manager, explains, ‘Corporate social responsibility is very important to Vintage; we believe in giving back wherever we can. Sharing our knowledge is a key element of our values with our clients and each other but also with the wider community.
‘Having visited Daisy Chain and seen what a fantastic facility it is and the support it offers local families who have autistic children, we were very keen to get involved.
‘For such families, it can be hard to think about planning for the future and retirement, particularly when they could have someone physically and financially dependent on them for the long term. Care costs could rise in the future so how do people make their assets last as long as possible and what do they need to save now. It’s good to be able to help take some of the fear and mystery out of that.’
For Vintage, one thing the first session identified for them, was they currently have an app which can link to a clients’ bank account and track their spending receipts. ‘We could immediately see how useful this would be to families who need to prove their spending to enable their funding entitlements. Caring for someone with special needs brings with it a huge amount of paperwork so this could be really helpful in cutting that down and reduce the likelihood of mislaying vital proof of spending.
‘People live very busy lives and it is even more hectic when you are also a carer so people often put off planning for the future and their finances as well as making a will and how it should be structured to care for their dependents. However, taking some time to do this will offer more certainty about the future.’
Vintage offers a free initial meeting to talk through a clients’ situation with no further obligation. Also, the company has offered to hold future events for parents and carers who access Daisy Chain services.
The first session was held by Vintage Partner, Anthony Long, Chartered Financial Planner. Karen says, ‘We had really good feedback from the first session so it’s clear that it is a subject people want to approach. For a lot of people, the thought of seeking financial advice is very scary and we want to remove that stigma. We hope the information we can provide to service users at Daisy Chain will help to alleviate this.’
And Vintage’s support doesn’t end there – the company is also planning a volunteering day at either the farm site or Superstore. ‘It is amazing the new skills people pick up from a day out of the office and team building has lots of benefits.’