Charity recognised for vital early intervention support for Norfolk families

Home-Start Norfolk will help young families. Picture: Archant

Home-Start Norfolk has been awarded £140,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2005

A Norfolk charity has been awarded £140,000 in funding to support Norfolk families through their "toughest times".

Home-Start Norfolk was awarded the money by the National Lottery Community Fund to help families faced with challenges such as financial difficulties, isolation, poor mental health or disability.

The charity aims to give families the ability to cope with issues and provides them with the support they need to give their children the "best start in life".

Around 250 families are supported with a volunteer every year across Norfolk.

Home-Start Norfolk charity focus edp

Home-Start Norfolk provides support to families through their toughest times, ensuring they have the support they need to give their children the best start in life. - Credit: Home-Start Norfolk

The majority of the funding will go towards helping families who are finding parenting in the early years difficult.

Last month, Home-Start Norfolk revealed it had to utilise reserves in order to maintain its current level of service for the families it is supporting after its ability to generate money was "heavily restricted" during the lockdown.

Daniel Williams, its chief executive, said: "Early relationships shape a baby’s brain, especially their emotional and social development.

Daniel Williams, chief executive of Home Start Norfolk.

Daniel Williams, chief executive of Home Start Norfolk. - Credit: Home-Start

"Everything we do at Home-Start is aimed at supporting a stable and nurturing environment for baby through this formative period.

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"Investing in the start of life isn’t just about the individual babies or families we support, it is economically, socially and psychologically vital for the future of our communities."

The charity's funding bid was supported by a number of organisations.

These include the Norfolk Children and Young People's Health Services, Norfolk County Council, NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, Early Childhood and Family Service, Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, Healthwatch Norfolk and Home-Start UK.

A Home-Start Norfolk spokesperson said: "The awards panel recognised that the preventative nature of our early intervention work is a vital part of an integrated care service for Norfolk families.

"Our wonderful Home-Start volunteers bring a broad spectrum of diverse lived experience to provide community centred, accessible, non-judgmental support, walking beside them [families] through their challenges.

"We employ family services co-ordinators (FSC’s) who provide professional supervision for our volunteers, matching their skills and experience with referred families."