Scunthorpe service to close as £90k funding is cut
DOZENS of families will soon no longer be able to use a service that has supported people for 25 years.
The Home-Start service has had its £90,000 lifeline pulled and will stop work on the last day of the year.
The service, which gives one-to-one support to 90 families a year, including more than 290 children, has helped up to 2,250 people since it opened its doors.
Its army of 40 volunteers, many of whom are parents themselves, visit families in their own homes – supporting people in a variety of situations including isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness or disability.
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But these home visits have now been withdrawn after news broke that it has lost its £90,000 funding contract from North Lincolnshire Council after the authority awarded the contract to another service provider.
Staff have already received their redundancy notices and Home-Start has already been forced to turn away eight people in one day.
Now staff are fearful that many more vulnerable people will be left to cope alone when support to all families stops.
One mum supported by Home-Start said: "If it were not for my Home-Start volunteer, I wouldn't be here anymore and my children would be in care."
Faith Woodcock, senior coordinator at Home-Start North Lincolnshire, said: "We are devastated that our family support service, which has been operating in our local community for a quarter of a century, is having to close.
"Who will pick up the pieces when we shut next month? The funding we've lost is £90,000 – it's a lot of money. The additional loss of more than 40 highly skilled, trained parent volunteers together with volunteer trustees – all recruited from the local community – represents a huge blow to this grassroots charity.
"We are now applying for grant funding to try to save the service but it will be next year before we hear whether we have been successful or not."
An open day will be held on Tuesday, December 11, from 10am to 4pm for people to call into the Frodingham Road office to say goodbye.
A North Lincolnshire Council spokeswoman said: "We value and support the work of the voluntary sector.
"In doing so, we constantly seek to commission the best services for young people throughout North Lincolnshire.
"In recent months we have increased the money spent through the voluntary sector to provide early intervention support. Our new service has been designed to support families with children up to 11 years old.
"We constantly monitor the effectiveness of our providers and work closely to ensure the best outcome for our young people and families locally."
If anyone is interested in fundraising for Home-Start North Lincolnshire, please contact the office on 01724 858433.