Charity helping needy families set to close after funding halted

A CHARITY which has helped struggling families for quarter of a century could be forced to shut its doors after losing local authority funding.

Home-Start North Lincolnshire says it will have to stop supporting families from New Year’s Eve after losing its main source of funding from North Lincolnshire Council earlier this year.

The charity gets referrals from GPs and social workers and provides support to families with problems ranging from addiction to mental health and isolation. Unlike nine-to-five services it offers round-the-clock care, with 40 skilled parent volunteers able to visit during evenings, weekends and school holidays.

Every year on average it works with 90 families.

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One mother supported by Home-Start said: “If it were not for my Home-Start volunteer I wouldn’t be here anymore and my children would be in care.”

The charity claims if it closed there were no other early intervention services to provide the services they offer.

Three staff have received redundancy notices.

Senior co-ordinator Faith Woodcock said: “We are devastated that our family support service, that has been operating in our local community for a quarter of a century, is having to close. Who will pick up the pieces when we shut next month?

“We urge any local fund-raisers, businesses, or trusts to come forward and help us with one last ditch attempt in our fight for survival.

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“We have applications in with the Lottery and Children in Need, but unfortunately we won’t find out until next year. We are in a position where we have been using reserves for the last six months and unfortunately they only go so far.”

North Lincolnshire Council has put the service out to competitive tender. A statement said: “In recent months we have increased the money spent through the voluntary sector to provide early intervention support.

“Our new service has been designed to support families with children aged up to 11. We constantly monitor the effectiveness of our providers and work closely to ensure the best outcome for our young people and families locally.”

Home-Start is having a farewell open day on December 11
on Frodingham Road, Scunthorpe.

Anyone who can help should ring 01724 858433.