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Local families helped with grants for Home-Start

A Home-Start volunteer with two young girls drawing at a table

Home-Start Hertfordshire has been awarded £6,180* through our Area Forum grants – Baldock, Letchworth and Hitchin Area Forums each gave £2,060 to help the charity provide support and assistance to struggling local families.

Home-Start Hertfordshire is currently engaged with 21 families across North Herts, with 14 families receiving active support and a further seven having just had their initial assessment and waiting for support to start. Home-Start receives referrals from agencies such as social services to fill gaps in provision and work one on one with families in a more intensive way than statutory authorities can. They help families struggling with diverse and complex issues including family breakdowns and children being taken into care. Families are supported through a tailored support package, made up of weekly support and home visits.  

Suzy Moody, CEO of Home-Start Hertfordshire, said: “We hugely appreciate North Herts Council’s contribution which will enable us to get in early to support families before they reach crisis point. The first 1,001 days of a child’s life is crucial to their future outcomes. Home-Start offers unique, tailored, support for families who are facing challenges. By getting in early, we help families to face their struggles and help their children to lead happy, healthy lives.”

In addition, the Royston Area Forum awarded £1,485* to Home-Start Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire towards their Royston Family Support Group spring term. Their weekly structured activities which support parents and facilitate children’s play will benefit 10-12 local families who are socially isolated and marginalised with children under 5, many with additional issues such as mental health difficulties and children with developmental delay and ADHD.  

Cllr Alistair Willoughby, North Herts Council’s Executive Member for Community & Partnerships, who approved the funding under delegated decision, said: “Many young families can struggle and Home-Start steps in where there is often a gap in statutory services. Life can be extremely difficult especially for those with babies and toddlers, with additional needs and in the current financial crisis, so this family support is vital in helping them cope, and potentially preventing them from a crisis situation.”   

*subject to completion of the necessary formalities

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