Home-Start gets £270,000 lifeline

Home Start  Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre celebrate a vital cash grant. Pictured L-R are Pat Naylor, Gill Roper and Shelagh Byrne.
Home Start Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre celebrate a vital cash grant. Pictured L-R are Pat Naylor, Gill Roper and Shelagh Byrne.

A charity which provides vital help for struggling families in Fleetwood is able to continue its work until 2020 thanks to a key grant of over £270,000.

Home-Start Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre was faced with the prospect of ending much of its work in the port and closing its Wyre office at Marsh Mill in Thornton.

Youngsters iat a Home-Start toddler group in Fleetwood.

Youngsters iat a Home-Start toddler group in Fleetwood.

But the Big Lottery Fund grant of £270,883 now means that not only can its work with vulnerable families in Fleetwood and Wyre continue, but its activities can expand.

The grant will enable the group to still provide its home-visiting service for families with children under five years, and to develop new work with families who have children up to the age of 11 years.

Specialist parent volunteers will be trained to support families struggling within situations such as isolation, multiple births, illness and, disability.

The charity currently works with 30 families in Fleetwood alone and has helped almost 100 families in the port since it began operation from Marsh Mill in 2010.

Pat Naylor, scheme manager at Home-Start, said:“I am absolutely thrilled that we have been successful in our application to the Big Lottery Fund.

“Our consultation showed that the Home-Start service is needed in Fleetwood and across Wyre and I am very excited to be able to now develop the vital service we offer.

“There’s a service running in Wyre at the minute, but the funding had finished, so this will allow us to continue our work. “The funding will bring new opportunities and we always welcome applications from people with parenting experience to become home-visiting volunteers.”

Home Start also run a stay-and-pay toddler group at Fleetwood Methodist Church on Fleetwood Road.

The news of the funding has been welcomed by Fleetwood MP cat Smith, who said: “Home-Start does some excellent work in Fleetwood, helping families who really need support.

“It’s fabulous news that their work can continue, thanks to this grant.

“I hope to meet up with them in the future.”

One Fleetwood family was given additional help by Home-Start with their four year old son who was having some behavioural problems at school and at home.

The family had not been on holiday for quite some time and the mum was expecting her second child.

Home-Start referred them to a local Mothers Union who offer a holiday home for families in need for a cost of just £15.

The mum, who did not wish to be named, said: “Home-Start has helped us so much, the caravan holiday was perfect and it was just what we needed to get away for a while and spend quality time away as a family.

“I would recommend Home-Start to any family as they are a fantastic organisation.”