How I got here
Funding Connection came about because of my passion for helping people. It encompasses 32 years of working in the health, disability and education sectors and volunteering with community organisations; CCS Disability Action, ADHD Association, Autism NZ, Blind Foundation of NZ, Auckland Deaf Sign Singers and Lions Club. It includes supporting other parents at Strengthening Families Meetings and Family Group Conferences and my strong ability to think outside the square to source solutions. It further includes the 15 year struggle I had as a solo parent sourcing information, access to support and funding for my son Ryan, who was finally diagnosed at age 5 and a half with mild-moderate Autism, ADHD and Asperger Syndrome. Finally, it encompasses my understanding and personal experience of living with a disability.
I knew my son was different when he was 9 months old. He used to sleep upright; rocking back and forth, so much so, that he developed a permanent wound on his spine from the rubbing against the wooden cot. He didn’t make the usual cute sounds that babies make; he would stare at me with a blank look on his face, seemingly not understanding anything I said. He wasn’t making the milestones of his peers, he didn’t get invited to birthday parties and his quirky behaviour was noted as disruptive and naughty.
The specialist gave me the diagnosis then told me to “go home and get on with life”. With little support from within education and health services it was left to me to make the difference. Research to source information, support and funding became a priority in my life and with this I found: Work and Income Child Disability Allowance, Riding for the Disabled, Duke of Edinburgh programme for childcare and Lions, Rotary and Freemasons for funding. Furthermore I found Specific Learning Disorder Association, Autism NZ, ADHD Association, Needs Assessment Services Coordination (NASC) and the library. I read many books for inspiration, autobiographies and biographies from Temple Grandin, Tracey Richardson and Lauren Roche. I read to learn about Ryan's diagnosis and took relevant information to learn and inspire me. Along the way I met other mums who were not aware of some of the information I had found. Over the following two years I shared my learned information and provided support to more than 250 families.
I was empowered to make a difference in schools to ensure they were accessing all the funding providers they were entitled to apply to; not just the ones they apply to year after year. I understand emphatically that schools require funding over and above that provided by Government.
The number of potential funders that you are eligible to apply to is dependent upon your location and the community that you serve.
Completing funding applications is a team effort. While you provide the information about your project, together we create an application that packs a punch!
Avoid common pitfalls that may mean your application is not even considered