Home-Start Norwich awarded £286,606 from Big Lottery Fund

Home-Start on Google maps

Home-Start on Google maps - Credit: Archant

A Norwich charity that supports struggling families in the city has been awarded £286,606 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The cash given to Home-Start Norwich is part of total funding to projects in the East of England of £1,091,350.

The money comes from the Reaching Communities programme which helps those most in need and builds stronger communities.

Home-Start Norwich, which is based at St Benedicts View, off Grapes Hill, has been awarded the cash to expand a project which aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and families in the city.

The project will recruit and provide specialist training for 65 new volunteers and a new co-ordinator to deal with the increase in number of families being supported.

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The volunteer will be matched with families as a befriender to strengthen parent child relationships and to provide a support network for parents.

Many of the families who will be visited by volunteers each week will be facing issues such as overcrowded homes, unemployment, deprivation, lack of parenting skills, lack of effective role models, social and economic isolation and lack of access to health services.

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Geraldine Duffy, a Home Start trustee, said: 'Home Start Norwich is delighted that we have been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

'It will be very helpful in enabling us to continue our support for families in need in Norwich.

'Home-Start Norwich aims to help children get the best possible start in life. We support families who have a least one child under five who would benefit from the help of a volunteer for a couple of hours each week.

'Many parents need help and friendship during those early years when children are young. Volunteers are highly-trained and provide support tailored towards the individual needs of the family, for as long as it is needed.

'Our team worked very hard to secure the grant and we continue to pursue vital sources of funding in order to help us cope with the increasing demand for our service.'

Home-Start schemes are rooted in the community they serve and managed locally, but supported by a national organisation, Home-Start UK, which offers direction, training, information and guidance to schemes and ensures consistent and quality support for parents and children.

Big Lottery Fund spokesman Jonathan Clark said: 'Thousands of people across the East of England will benefit from the £1m we are awarding this month.

'The funding will make a huge difference to the lives of young people and families who are in need. Organisations interested in finding out how we could help them make a difference locally can find out more at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.'

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40pc of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn, and since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £30bn has now been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

For further information or to find out about joining Home-Start Norwich as a volunteer or trustee, visit http://www.homestartnorwich.org/

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