Home-Start’s in Lincolnshire to merge into one big charity

Home-Start charities across the area are merging into one big charity.
Home-Start charities across the area are merging into one big charity.

Leading local family support charities Home-Start East Lindsey, Boston, Gainsborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford, South Holland and Stamford have agreed to merge, creating a larger and stronger charity that can help more families and children.

The new charity is called “Home-Start Lincolnshire” and will operate across the whole county.

Importantly the core support to families will remain the same but by working together the larger and stronger charity can help more families and children.

Home-Start has been in Lincolnshire since 1984 and the eight Home-Start schemes throughout Lincolnshire have trained volunteers to support local families for a combined total of nearly 32 years, helping over 1,000 families and 2,300 children each year.

Chief executive of Home-Start Lincolnshire Tracey Ruddock, said: “Home-Start’s throughout Lincolnshire have an excellent track record in improving people’s lives.

“This merger is very good news for the people of Lincolnshire. A single charity means we can make savings and work more efficiently, whilst supporting even more local families and children in need of help.

“Our staff and volunteers will now be able to make an even bigger difference to people’s lives throughout the county.”

Another representative, a patron of Home-Start Lincolnshire said:“I know that families across Lincolnshire face many challenges and that Home-Start helps these families in a very positive and effective way.

“So this merger is in my view a positive step forward, and therefore I welcome it.I have always been proud to be a patron of Home-Start and continue to wish it every success in the vital work it does to support families in Lincolnshire.”

Home-Start Lincolnshire will be one of the largest local family support charity in the county, with over 500 volunteers providing vital emotional support, practical help and parenting advice to families who are struggling.

The core work of Home-Start offers home-visiting support to families through its amazing team of trained volunteers who work with parents to increase their confidence, reduce their isolation and support them to access services in the local community; ultimately to provide parents with the skills and confidence to give their children the best possible start in life.

Support is offered through group support such as our Kid’s Patch gardening project which brings families together to grow, sow and eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

In the summer of 2015 supporters of Home-Start in Lincolnshire came together to campaign against Lincolnshire County Council’s decision to remove the charity’s funding.

Unfortunately, LCC did not continue its funding of Home-Start support for families, despite the huge response from families, volunteers and referrers.

This resulted in a massive reduction of £430,000 to the charity and it has worked very hard to reduce the impact on families in need of support.

Home-Starts across the county had been working together for a couple of years to bring about this merger, the decision by LCC to remove did not influence the decision.

The merger has meant that with reduced funding the charity is less vulnerable to closure but there is still work to do to ensure Home-Start’s future and continued support of families.