MACS is here to support our members at each stage of their journey. We provide:
- Emotional support through our helpline and Facebook support group
- Financial assistance by giving our members grants or subsidising family holidays in our 3 caravans
- Peer support and building connections through our national and regional social events – the biggest of which is our annual Family Weekend.
- Confidence building for our children and young people by providing heavily subsidised activity holidays on both land and sea.
- Funding for research into MACS conditions
Having the support and understanding from other MACS parents has, many times, stopped me from quite literally falling apart.
65% of families with disabled children report feeling isolated frequently or constantly (cafamily, 2011). But MACS makes 89% of parents with children affected by MACS conditions feel less alone in difficult times, and helps 91% of them to cope with their child's condition. In workshops, members told us that it was our annual Family Weekend which had the biggest impact, and 81% of attendees told us that they’d made lasting connections at our 2017 Family Weekend.
The benefits of attending are greatly untold and some you do not realise until months or years down the line - it benefits our MACS child, in that he can relax and be himself, it benefits our daughter who blossoms into our caring, inspiring girl and it benefits us in that we reunite with special friends that we may only see once a year and we receive untold support through difficult times. Just a hug can tell you that someone else understands and cares
We know that visually impaired children are more likely to live in homes that struggle financially (NatCen 2014). In 2016, we provided 60 families with subsidised, accessible caravan holidays, and gave grants for equipment and experiences such as braillers, play equipment, and swimming lessons. 95% of recipients said a MACS grant enabled them to do something they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to do. 78% of MACS parents who used the caravans said they allowed their family to go on holidays which they would otherwise be unable to afford.
MACS Caravans have been a life-saver for us. We will never be able to convey the difference they have made or thank you enough for your decency and incredible generosity. MACS is incredibly close to our hearts.
77% of disabled young people report difficulties in building friendships (Sense, 2015), and 70% of MACS parents say their child’s confidence is affected by their condition. So we provided adventurous activity and sailing experiences to 45 young people in 2016. 93% of parents said MACS sailing and adventurous activity breaks had improved their child’s confidence and helped them build friendships.
The sailing events are truly wonderful, I can't recommend them enough. My son gained so much from them and came home much more confident. Awesome events MACS.