Lifeline charity in fight for survival

Wyre Home Start co-ordinator Arlette Irving has warned the charity is struggling to find funding for its work
Wyre Home Start co-ordinator Arlette Irving has warned the charity is struggling to find funding for its work

FAMILY support charity which helps Fleetwood families is fighting for survival in the face of Government cuts.

Home Start Wyre, which supports families across the borough with young children under five who face challenges such as illness, bereavement or isolation, could run out of cash by November if new funding is not found.

Staff at the Hambleton-based centre say it is becoming increasingly difficult to rely on funding from organisations such as Lancashire County Council (LCC) and North Lancashire PCT because so many volunteer services have been affected by cuts.

If new funding cannot be found the charity could be forced to merge with similar groups in Fylde or Lancaster.

The Wyre organisation which currently has 47 families on its books, costs £55,000 a year.

One mum, who was referred to Home Start because her five-year-old son suffers from hypermobility syndrome described the service as a ‘lifeline’.

The 33-year-old, from Thornton, who did not want to be named, said it would be a “travesty” if the service was lost.

She said: “I had never heard of Home Start before I was referred, but it has been an absolute life saver, I can’t stress that enough.

“The day I was referred to the service I had taken my little boy for a test to measure his development and psychological ability and he failed massively.

“I took him to his children’s centre and just broke down in tears, I felt helpless, I didn’t know what to do and that is when I became aware of Home Start.

“Each family is assigned a volunteer who will best suit your needs, I knew my volunteer as she worked at the children’s centre we attended.

“At first she helped with the physical things, at that time my son was using a walking frame that was bulky and I always needed an extra pair of hands.

“But later, when he moved on to splints and then special shoes, she was more of a comfort, an emotional crutch for me really.

“She has become – a best friend.”

Arlette Irving, co-ordinator at the Wyre based Home Start said: “The group has to find its own funding which is becoming extremely difficult because of the government cuts. Funding is now tougher for voluntary groups.

“We have had money from LCC and the PCT but our funding runs out in five months. We would be delighted to hear from anyone with financial acumen to join our trustees or from any business able to support us.

“We support families from across Wyre, including several from Fleetwood.”

For information contact Arlette Irving on (01253) 700740.