16th May 2013: our and Harry’s ‘Red Letter Day’.
After weeks of waiting expectantly for THE letter to drop onto our doormat, its eventual arrival almost went unnoticed. Half a dozen letters came on that day and I scanned them all quickly to see if any of them was the letter telling us what Harry’s future might hold. Bills, junk mail and insignificant-looking brown envelopes. Another day of waiting loomed.
It was eleven o’clock: time for a coffee. As I sipped I began to open the envelopes and browse their contents. The insignificant brown envelope contained… a letter from North Yorkshire County Council. OMG! (as my teenage daughter would say). This was it. You know how sometimes you have to read things several times before their meaning sinks in? That was me. But I picked out the key sentences: “Pleased to inform you … able to approve funding…” The establishment name was correct, the placement type was correct. “Placement length: Three Year Programme – Commencing September 2013 and ending July 2016.” Correct. Much to my amazement the council seemed to have approved three years of funding when I had been advised we were likely only to get two. “Funding Approval: September 2013 to July 2014.” This last bit was worrying. Did this mean we had to reapply for funding on an annual basis? A couple of phonecalls later reassured me that this was standard practice and that the key phrase was “Three Year Programme”.
And then the relief hit me. And the tears came. This was what we had worked so hard for. I had been prepared to go to appeal to get funding for the full three years but Harry had been given it anyway. Instead, we can relax and spend the summer preparing Harry for the next stage of his life: college.
Now the countdown is really on.