Grantham Journal Children’s Fund steps in to help family in need

Ryan and Micky Stokes.
Ryan and Micky Stokes.
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A couple in need of financial assistance to make their new home safe for their severely autistic son came to the Grantham Journal Children’s Fund – and we were so pleased to be able to help.

The Stokes family needed a bigger, more suitable home to bring up their autistic four-year-old Ryan, so they jumped at the chance to move into a council-owned property in Harrowby Lane when the opportunity arose.

However, before they could move in they needed a fence to make their back garden safe for Ryan, who has no sense of danger and has a tendency to run off.

With South Kesteven District Council unable to help and no spare money available, Ryan’s mum Michiela, known as Micky, came to the Journal.

She said: “When you said you could help it was ‘oh my God!’ It was a massive relief.

“We needed it because the garden was open and the house is near a main road. Ryan would be straight out into the road. He’s always climbing, he doesn’t have a sense of danger.”

In under a week the fencer was working away in the Stokes’ back garden. That is the beauty of the Children’s Fund, said Micky, its ability to move very quickly to help families in need.

She added: “It’s been amazing and very fast. It’s been really easy to talk to you and there’s not been lots of forms to fill in.”

Now Ryan has a safe area to play and somewhere to get a little space if being indoors become too much.

The Children’s Fund also paid for a bath to be installed, so that Ryan could relax and avoid the discomfort he has when having a shower.

Ryan was 18 months old when his parents Micky and Barry realised something was wrong. He lost his speech and began walking on his toes. He was soon diagnosed with autism, which came as a shock to his parents and siblings, Zoe, 15, and Sam, 17.

Micky said: “Every now and then he regresses, we don’t know why. We’re hoping that now we have the house and the garden set up he will have space to himself.”