Wellingborough charity which helps vulnerable children facing closure next year

Home-Start runs its giving tree appeal in the Swansgate Shopping Centre in Wellingborough every year to help families in the area
Home-Start runs its giving tree appeal in the Swansgate Shopping Centre in Wellingborough every year to help families in the area

A charity set up more than 20 years ago to support some of Wellingborough’s most vulnerable children is facing closure next year.

With several streams of funding coming to an end next year, Home-Start Wellingborough and District has said families in the area will no longer be able to access free support from trained volunteers unless a rescue plan is successful.

The charity currently supports more than 70 vulnerable families at any one time through a network of local trained volunteers who offer emotional and practical help.

But with funding from the Big Lottery coming to an end in January 2017 and other major funding ending in March, a shortfall of more than £70,000 means the charity faces closure.

Scheme manager Janet Sanders said: “With the NHS and social services already at breaking point in the area, our services are needed more than ever.

“Our volunteers help families to get back on their feet during difficult times such as bereavement, depression or mental illness.

“Without our help, the well-being of the children in these families is at serious risk.”

With the threat of closure if regular sponsorship can’t be found, the charity is this week launching the Changing Futures campaign to find 2,000 people willing to donate £3 a month.

Fundraising officer Susan Thompson said: “We need 2,000 Wellingborough folk to commit to giving £3 a month.

“That will bring in enough money to keep going next year but without that help, we will be letting down some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Over the past year, Home-Start Wellingborough and District has supported more than 200 children in the borough by training volunteers to support families in difficulty.

Referrals come from many sources, including social services and domestic violence centres.

Volunteers are matched with suitable families and visit weekly.

The charity’s Facebook page gives former users of Home-Start the chance to thank the volunteers, and many have done this, including Theresa Wright who wrote: “I don’t know where to start explaining how Home-Start have helped us.”

In the past year, the charity has supported:

- 26 families with one or more disabled children

- 88 children with a Common Assessment Framework

- 26 children with a Child Protection Plan

- 27 children with a Child in Need Plan

- Matched 34 new families with a regular home-visiting volunteer

- Successfully completed supporting 38 families

- Attended family court hearings

The charity currently has 28 referrals seeking support that it is unable to meet.

Anyone who would like to help can donate via www.homestartwellingborough.org.uk/donate.