Help for vulnerable families will continue after a new cohort of Home Start volunteers completed training funded partly by a £10,000 South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) Local Community Grant.
Home Start, based in Towcester, offers support to families throughout South Northamptonshire and Daventry which have at least one child under five years old and are experiencing stressful or difficult situations such as a sudden death, post-natal depression, redundancy or a health crisis.
Five volunteers underwent 40 hours of training funded by SNC. Cllr Karen Cooper, the council’s portfolio holder for community engagement and wellbeing, said: “Some might argue South Northamptonshire and Daventry are not deprived areas, but it is no less devastating for people in this area to lose a spouse or their income suddenly, especially if they have young children.
“I’m very pleased, firstly that we have people in the district willing to volunteer to carry out such vital work, and secondly that SNC is able to the support the initiative.”
Volunteers undergo comprehensive training to ensure they have the necessary skills and are matched with families to meet the specific needs of the whole family.
Jean Morgan, chairman of the Home Start board of trustees, said: “We’re ever so grateful to SNC, we have some amazing volunteers and the funding enables us to make the most of them.
“There’s a perception that affluent South Northamptonshire doesn’t need funding for services like this.
“But sudden crisis can be devastating regardless of income and can easily see families end up within the social services regime.
“Our volunteers can step in before that happens and in the long run save society a great deal more than it costs to train them.”
One volunteer is able to support a family by spending up to two hours a week with them.
The SNC funding will help recruit 15 volunteers over a three-year period, enabling the charity to support a further 30 families.
During 2016/17 Home Start worked with 73 families with a total of 174 children and currently have 28 volunteers trained to support them.
Families are referred to Home Start by midwives, health visitors and GPs, but families can also contact them directly.
If you would like their help, or would like to volunteer visit the Home Start website or call 01327 353139 or search for Home-Start Daventry and South Northants on Facebook.
Many of SNC’s community grants are funded by the New Homes Bonus (NHB), a grant paid to local authorities by central government for each new home built in the district.
A wide range of projects and activities may be eligible for help, including capital projects (buildings and infrastructure), as well as smaller projects such as supporting the purchase of much needed equipment or the delivery of local schemes.
For more information on grants available from SNC and elsewhere contact the Volunteer Centre.