Funding boost for charity supporting hundreds of Waveney families

Tara Spence, Chief executive of Home- Start in Suffolk. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Tara Spence, CEO of Home-Start in Suffolk - Credit: Archant

A charity supporting vulnerable families will continue to help those in Waveney after a National Lottery funding boost.

Home-Start in Suffolk launched their Waveney project in 2017 after a number of enquiries from the area.

Almost five years later, and the charity has supported more than 350 families.

In the last 12 months alone, referrals from Waveney have almost trebled as families tackle rising living costs, the removal of the Universal Credit uplift, and the pandemic.

The National Lottery Community Fund has now awarded the charity £49,000 for the recruitment of a new family support worker dedicated to the area, as well as to recruit and train more volunteers over the next two years.

Tara Spence, CEO of the charity, said: "We're thrilled that the National Lottery Community Fund continues to recognise our work in this way.

"Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to continue to develop the support for families in this area of Suffolk and press on with our plans to broaden the range of opportunities available to parents and children as they work through challenging times.

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"The past two years have been extremely difficult for everyone, and families have been impacted greatly by the pandemic.

"Parents and children have missed out on so many opportunities and special childhood moments as a result of some of the restrictions in place, especially with the lockdown periods and home-schooling.

"With limited social interaction, increased isolation and the lack of routines, many parents told us they were sleeping less than six hours a night, worried about their children's future.

"And that was the lucky ones who could visualise what the future could potentially hold as, for many families, the current challenges were so huge they could not see a way out.

"The Home-Start in Suffolk team are working hard to help families overcome these challenges."

The charity has been supporting families across the county for over 22 years, with 270 fully-trained volunteers providing vital practical and emotional support through their home visiting and telephone support services.