21 Aug 2017, Meredith Jones Russell
Home-Start UK, the national group of family support charities, will use £897,000 from the Big Lottery Fund over the next three years to create a more collaborative network and support thousands more families across the country.
The grant will allow Home-Start to foster closer links between the 260 independent local charities in its network through mergers and consortia, helping them to secure further funding and investment for their work with parents and children.
In the last two years, Home-Start charities in both Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire have merged to form single organisations for each region as Home-Start looks to work more collaboratively and efficiently in local communities.
Home-Start provides leading volunteer-led home-visiting support for almost 30,000 families and 60,000 children from all backgrounds across the UK who face a range of challenges including isolation, mental and physical ill-health, bereavement, addiction and financial hardship.
The National Lottery funding will be matched by an investment of £597,000 from Home-Start UK to help increase the number of families the network supports, and to develop the leadership of local Home-Starts, ensuring they have the skills and experience to manage this growth. Best practice developed as a result of the programme will be shared with other federated organisations across the charity sector.
Rob Parkinson, chief executive of Home-Start UK, said, ‘Home-Start’s work has never been more necessary, and our ambition is to build a modern and effective network which can help every family in need create a better future. We believe the best way to achieve this in a lasting way is a consolidation of the 260-strong federation into fewer, bigger and more sustainable Home-Starts.
‘Home-Start’s history is built on its community-focused approach to the support we provide, and this funding will be used to create a range of community-based solutions to ensure that we consolidate Home-Start activity across larger geographical areas without ever compromising our ethos, volunteer recruitment and our highly local approach to supporting families.’
Joe Ferns, UK knowledge and portfolio director at the Big Lottery Fund said, ‘Home-Start plays an important role in supporting thousands of families across the UK. This new National Lottery funding will bring together local schemes to share knowledge and skills, building a more sustainable network and reaching the people and communities that can benefit most.’