A REDDITCH charity which less than two years ago was battling for survival has been awarded a three-year grant of £83,932 by BBC Children in Need.
Homestart in Easemore Road delivers family support to disadvantaged children affected by poverty and deprivation.
It currently works with around 130 families across north east Worcestershire and on average helps some 250 families each year, although demand for its services is ever increasing, said manager Karen Jones.
“We feel very lucky to get this grant,” she said.
“We have been on the brink and we’re incredibly grateful for all the support we have received that has kept us going.”
Back in 2016 Homestart, despite the amazing work it was doing, was facing closure.
Staff dwindled from 10 to just three, helped by a willing army of volunteers.
However with support from then MP Karen Lumley and backing from Redditch Borough Council, Worcestershire County Council and many big hearted local firms, enough was found to get match funding from other donors.
“It was touch and go at one stage, but we survived,” said Karen, who added that fundraising will still haveto continue to secure the charity’s future.
“The money will enable us to train more volunteers to go in and help those families struggling to cope,” said Karen, who first joined the charity herself as a volunteer back in 2002.
She said the emphasis was now on preventative work, finding solutions before situations deteriorated too far.
“A lot of families go on to become volunteers themselves, so it comes full circle and adds to the knowledge and experience we have.
“A huge thank you to everyone at BBC Children in Need for their support, this funding really will make an enormous difference to young lives.”
PRIMROSE Hospice was awarded a three year grant of £77,170 by BBC Children in Need to provide support for children who have experienced a bereavement in their close friends or family.
Rachel Shepherd, trusts and grants fundraiser at the hospice said: “Many of the children we support haven’t experienced bereavement and so their feelings can be strange for them and they can feel very isolated.
“To be able to meet other children in the same situation, and know they are not alone, and have support, is invaluable as they move through an incredibly difficult time. A huge thank you to BBC Children in Need for their support.”