My daughter, Julia, was born on the 17 December 1993. She changed my life forever. Julia was diagnosed with Right-Sided Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. Her condition has meant countless visits to the ER and Hospital over the years. The cerebral palsy affects her strength and coordination on her right side. The repeated seizures had a profound effect on her brain development and now, although almost 25, she has the mental age of a child/young teenager and needs constant support and guidance. She calls me Mama, still climbs into my bed for cuddles most mornings, absolutely loves to be tickled like a child and is truly terrified of scary movies, sticking mostly to children’s cartoons. She battles terribly with change and surprises, suffers with various obsessive-compulsive behaviours and often her hands are raw from repeatedly washing them. Her condition is confusing to many who struggle to understand or make sense of why or how she fluctuates mentally amongst the ranges of young child, fierce teenager and sometimes even a glimmer of young adult. Despite her challenges, Julia is a determined soul who desperately wants to make her own mark in the world. Julia is 100% reliant on me financially. We’ve tried many times already and will continue to keep on trying to find her employment and a means for her to earn and contribute to an income for herself. In the interim she spends her days at a care organisation where she has carers watching over her so that I can be at work. She also volunteers with her day time carers where she can at coffee mornings, fairs, etc. I’ve spent the last 25 years trying hard to teach her that it’s not about what cards you are dealt in life but most importantly how you handle them, so we get on with it day to day and make the very best of our circumstances. I won’t lie. There are days when it would be the easiest thing in the world to just throw my hands in the air and say “I can’t cope”. There are days when it is all too much and my fear for her future is completely overwhelming. But what would I be teaching Julia? I haven’t yet been able to study. Life for me has been about constantly trying to balance working full time to support us and doing my best at being a present, loving and supportive mom to Julia. The financial challenges have meant that there isn’t one spare cent for the luxury of studying. I worry constantly for her future. I worry about how her financial needs will be taken care of when I am gone. I’m asking that you please help me improve my life, by helping me to study and ultimately earn more, so that I can in turn continue to improve her life. My name is Libby. I have a daughter who will be reliant on my ability to support her for the whole of her life. Elevating my career level and increasing my earnings is crucial.