Home-Start Lincolnshire has been awarded more than £450,000 by the Big Lottery for its work with vulnerable families of young children.
The money, £486,202 in total, will fund the charity’s valuable home-visiting service which provides volunteers to give families emotional and practical support.
Over the last year alone, Home-Start has supported 766 families and 1,661 children.
Home-Start CEO Tracey Ruddock said: “This much-needed money will ensure we can continue to provide vital support, friendship and practical help to families and children in Lincolnshire.
“We’re working hard to raise funds so we can grow our support service across the county.”
The Evans family received life-changing help from a Home Start volunteer after the birth of baby Millie.
Mum, Claire, was completely overwhelmed when Millie was born and struggled to cope.
She thought she was a ‘bad mum’ as she had no experience of running a home and did not know how to cook.
Husband Rob was not able to go to work as Claire was terrified of being left alone.
Home-Start introduced the family to volunteer mentor Sharon, a mum of three children herself, who helped the family from her own experience.
Claire said of Home-Start’s support: “Sharon was a huge help.
“I feel more confident. I can cook now; I have a real family and a nice place to live.
“My family is now complete thanks to you and Sharon.’
As well as the influx of lottery money, the Horncastle children’s gardening club Kids’ Patch (run by Home-Start Lincolnshire) received a much valued boost from the Horncastle & District Health & Wellbeing Fund recently.
The group were absolutely delighted to receive £500 – via the Lincolnshire Community Foundation – after asking for help with the costs of providing seeds, compost and tools to keep the group running into the next year.
The club is free to attend and runs on Thursdays from the grounds of the charity’s headquarters at Willow House on the Fortuna Business Centre just off Mareham Road.
Home-Start needs donations and volunteers to ensure its work can continue.
Visit www.homestartlincolnshire.co.uk for ways to help.